Bridging visa holder, Jaspal Singh’s father collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack upon arriving at Melbourne Airport on Monday morning. If he escorts his distressed mother, and father’s body to India for the funeral, he cannot return to Australia thus leaving his pregnant wife and 11 month old baby who is undergoing medical treatment, to fend for themselves indefinitely – unless the immigration minister intervenes.
Mr Jaspal Singh, who is the only son of Mr Gurdyal Singh, is currently on a bridging visa pending a decision on a reportedly complicated partner visa application. He had stayed on in Australia illegally for 3 weeks after his visa expired in 2013. According to an ABC report, he subsequently “applied for a new visa with his new wife but it can now only be approved by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.”
As it stands, his current bridging visa disallows him from returning to Australia, if he leaves the country. Mr Singh’s wife Mandeep Kaur, who is pregnant with their second child, told the ABC that the family was incredibly distressed.
Jaspal’s lawyers have lodged an appeal for ministerial intervention and the DIBP has told the ABC that it is looking into the matter.
Just last month, media, political and community pressure worked to force Minister Dutton to help keep a family together in their darkest hour. The Minister reversed the decision of an Australian High Commission case-officer, and granted visas to the family of a terminally ill Pakistani student who then died within days of his family’s arrival.
The pressure is now on again for Mr Dutton, who has been under the media spotlight for various public gaffes last year – with several calls made for his sacking.