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Biloela family granted permanent visas to stay in Australia

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Asylum seekers affectionately known as the "Biloela family" have been granted permanent visas to stay in Australia.

The Nadesalingam family were at the centre of a lengthy immigration battle and spent four years in detention until their release a few months ago.

In June the new federal government allowed them to return to the small Queensland town of Biloela while their case was ongoing.

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This afternoon the Department of Home Affairs granted Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharnicaa – previously know as the Murugappans – were given permanent visas.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles confirmed the decision had been finalised.

"This Government made a commitment before the election that, if elected, we would allow the family to return to Biloela and resolve the family's immigration status," he said in a statement.

"Today, the Government has delivered on that promise.

"This decision follows careful consideration of the Nadesalingam family's complex and specific circumstances.

"I extend my best wishes to the Nadesalingam family."

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https://twitter.com/HometoBilo/status/1555438219684065280

It was a moment years in the making for the Sri Lankan family, made possible by the campaigning of Biloela locals protesting their detainment and attempted deportation in 2018.

The Murugappan family had been living in detention since 2019, with much of that time spent on Christmas Island.

They were removed from their home in the Queensland town of Biloela and taken into detention in 2018 when their visa expired.

Priya and Nades' daughters, Kopika and Tharnicaa, were both born in Australia after the couple arrived in Australia by boat seeking asylum.

Priya and Nades are both Tamil, a group that has been persecuted in Sri Lanka.

More to come.





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