Bunbury family torn apart as teenager Sean Colgan is sent back to Ireland over medical visa rules
A WA family has been torn apart thanks to visa red tape with their 19-year-old son forced out of Australia and denied re-entry because he lives with cystic fibrosis.
Sean Colgan, who is said to be the healthiest he has been despite living with the chronic disease, has been forced to leave his family home in Bunbury with the Federal Government unwilling to foot his medical bills.
The Colgans moved to Bunbury from Ireland in 2012 and had never had any visa issues ... until now.
But eight months ago Sean was told he had to leave his life in WA behind after he was denied a visa on health grounds - forced to head back to Ireland with his mum.
He was told he would have to leave for three months while his application was assessed, but nearly a year on he is still unable to return home.
His father, sister and girlfriend have remained in WA to continue the fight and have already launched a petition to have the situation reconsidered.
The petition was launched online yesterday and has already been signed by nearly 8,000 people.
In the description, Sean’s sister mother Gillian says ‘it's the only home’ her son knows and the family would continue to fight the decision.
Her post reads:
“Australia has been our home for almost eight years but sadly, we've been rejected from the country we call home because our son has a chronic disease..
“It’s a disease he was born with but faces with bravery and positivity every single day. He is well most of the time and studying to be a Personal Trainer to inspire others and keep his lung function strong.
“We’ve lived in Bunbury since we arrived in 2012, worked incredibly hard and our two beautiful children have graduated from Manea College.
“We’ve built a life here and our children don’t know any other home.”
According to the Government's rules, visa applicants have to meet minimum health requirements to protect public health, the public interest - and, the public purse.
But critics have in the past labelled it as discrimination and Sean’s mum says it shouldn’t apply in theses circumstances.
"With this visa there are no medicare entitlements. They're not even allowed on this visa,” she told seven news Perth.
"We were given so much hope by people dealing with this for us and that was all thrown back in our faces."