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Five-year-old facing deportation from Australia because of ‘mild disability’

CANBERRA, Australia: An Australian born five-year-old boy is facing deportation to Bangladesh along with his family after their visa applications were rejected because of his “mild disability”.

Adyan was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy, a few months after his birth at a Geelong hospital.

Dr Mahedi Hasan Bhuiyan, the boy’s father, had arrived in Australia as a student in 2011.

He completed his PhD in engineering at the Deakin University in 2016, on account of which, he was granted the Victorian state government nomination for a permanent skilled migration visa, which would allow his family to settle in Australia.

However, because of his son’s disability, it was rejected under Australia’s strict “one fails all fail” visa health criteria.

Bhuiyan’s family appealed the rejection through the administrative appeals tribunal.

Two-and-a-half years later, the AAT upheld the refusal, noting it was “bound to accept” the findings of the boy’s medical assessments in 2016 and 2019.

The 2019 medical assessment had found a “mild functional impairment” which was likely permanent, and would require community services “including but not limited to additional support at school”.

In its ruling, the AAT said it had no discretion to take into account the contributions the family had made to Australia.

“I do not have any idea why a kid having little weakness in his left hand will need special education?” Bhuiyan asked.

“As far as I can understand, special education is required for those who are unable to attend in the mainstream schools,” he added.

“[He has] no learning difficulties, he’s going to school and learning everything and watching kids videos at home.”

The family has appealed to the Immigration Minister David Coleman, as their last chance at staying in Australia. The minister’s discretionary powers allow him to grant or deny a visa.

He had previously granted visas to families in similar situations, including a Bhutanese family, who were facing deportation because their deaf son would be a “liability” on the taxpayers.