A terminally ill man facing deportation from Australia has been granted a visa allowing him to live out his final days in Western Australia
The man was granted a temporary visa, diagnosed with lung and bone cancer and told he would be deported
A terminally ill man facing deportation from Australia has been granted a temporary visa after his family made a desperate bid to allow him to stay in the country.
Robert Taylor, 50, was granted a bridging visa on Monday which means he will be allowed to live out his final days in Western Australia.
Mr Taylor has lived in the state since moving with his family from the UK in 1974 when he was ten months old, but despite spending nearly 50 years in the country, he never became a citizen.
The father of six has been given less than 12 months to live after being diagnosed with lung and bone cancer.
Robert Taylor was given months to live after the federal government said he would be deported after being diagnosed with cancer.
Mr Taylor said he was relieved the decision to grant him a visa would allow him to spend time with his family.
He told the ABC he was relieved to have decided to stay in Australia.
‘I got a call from my case manager, and he said ‘you’re out Robert – you’ve got a bridging visa’,’ she said.
‘I am delighted that I can return to my grandchildren and the rest of my family and spend my last months with them.’
Mr Taylor had his permanent visa revoked due to character requirements after he was found guilty of aggravated theft in 2019.
He was then sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Character requirements brought in by the previous Coalition government meant Mr Taylor’s visa would be canceled if he was sentenced to 12 months or more in prison.
Mr Taylor apologized for the offence, which led to the threat of deportation, saying he committed it after becoming a methylamphetamine user following a work accident.
‘I am deeply sorry and sorry for what I have done to the community and the victims and if I could take it back I could not,’ he said.
‘Now I am here. I mean I can’t change the past, I can’t change what I’ve done, but I can change how I behave in the future, you know.’
In early 2021, a day before he was due to be released on parole, he was detained by immigration in Perth and has been detained ever since.
Mr Taylor’s daughter Kisha (pictured centre) fought for her father to stay in Australia and stay with her family after the government said it would send the 50-year-old back to the UK.
Mr Taylor has lived in Australia since moving from the UK in 1974 as a child
While incarcerated and challenging his deportation order, Taylor was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Despite the terminal diagnosis, the Australian government was determined to send him back to the UK – a country of which he has no memory.
Mr Taylor’s daughter Kisha had earlier pleaded with Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to show her father some mercy.
‘He’s dying and he doesn’t have much time to live. The longer they wait to make this decision, the less time we have so I just, you know, beg for their compassion’. she said.
Mr Taylor said being without his family in hospital had affected his mental as well as physical health.
‘I can’t sleep… when I lay down to rest, my brain just ticks over at 100 miles an hour, you know, thinking about whether I’ll ever see my kids again.’
The government’s decision is a big win for Mr Taylor.
According to the Department of the Interior, 7,858 visas have been revoked under Section 501 of the immigration law since the law was changed in 2014.
Of these, only 20 percent, or 1,638 appeals, were dismissed.
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