New dad faces deportation just before Christmas
AN email that was never received has almost caused a father to be separated from his Kingscliff partner and their two-month-old son just days before Christmas.
The Immigration Department ordered French national Fabrice Evrard to leave the country by December 21 for failing to provide it with the required documents in time to extend his visa.
But Fab and his partner Amanda King maintain they never received the email asking for the documents.
The couple, both 29, have since been told by their immigration lawyer that it's not the first time emails from the department have gone astray.
After failing to meet the deadline the couple were given two options by the department - pay $1600 for a tribunal review or $4575 for a partner visa, neither of which they could afford.
So Amanda made an appeal on her Facebook page which raised $2000 and then her mum offered to pay the balance for a partner visa.
In the case where there's a child involved there's really got to be some kind of compassionate grounds...It's been an absolute nightmare. There's a real lack of humanity.
But on Thursday the couple say they discovered that the Federal Government recently imposed an extra $700 fee so again they had to scramble to come up with the money.
It will come down to the wire, but they are now confident Fab's new visa will arrive in time and they'll be able to spend their first Christmas together with their son Julian.
But the couple said they were speaking out to make other international couples aware of the rigmarole and expense involved in staying together.
Amanda said: "In the case where there's a child involved there's really got to be some kind of compassionate grounds instead of cough up or leave."
"It's been an absolute nightmare. There's a real lack of humanity."
A spokesman for the Minister for Immigration said it was the responsibility of visa holders to ensure the department had up-to-date contact details, including email addresses and to ensure that the settings on their email account allowed them to receive emails from the department.