Heartwarming end to struggle to keep deaf migrant father in Australia after his visa was revoked due to a mistake by his migration agent
- Migrant father granted residence permit
- He was almost deported from Australia
A deaf migrant, father of three, who was nearly deported from Australia has been granted permanent residency.
Mohamed Barghachoun was told by the Home Office in January that he would have to leave his home in Bexley, south Sydney.
It came despite Barghachoun living in the country for the past four years and marrying his Australian fiancée Jihan Merhi after leaving Lebanon in 2019.
Mr. Barghachhoun had paid a migration agent more than $1,500 to submit his application for a partner visa.
Mohamed Barghachoun (right) has been granted a former residence permit, which is a kind of permanent residence (pictured with his wife, Jihan Merhi Barghachoun)
Mr Barghachoun alleged that the agent never properly submitted the application and ignored letters from the Home Office.
Despite the couple’s pleas to Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, Mr Barghachoun’s visa was cancelled.
On Wednesday, the Immigration Minister stepped in and issued a former resident visa, which is a type of permanent residency.
‘It’s just unbelievable. I am so happy,” Mr Barghachoun told the ABC.
“We’re just so emotional, we’re crying tears of joy,” he said.
“Now we can make plans with our family, think positively about our future and grow old together as a family.”
Mr Barghachhoun said he was very happy that he could now ‘watch our children grow up’.
The couple said they had difficulty dealing with department officials because they can only communicate in writing or in Auslan and not over the phone.
The Interior Ministry’s decision report found that they had provided “satisfactory” evidence of their relationship when they submitted the partner visa application in May 2019.
Between August 2019 and January 2022, officials tried unsuccessfully to contact their migration agent six times, according to the document.
After the department failed to reach him each time, a rejection letter was sent to the agent.
The letter informed the agent that his client had 21 days to appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Committee.
Mr Barghachhoun said he was delighted that he could now ‘watch our children grow up’ and plan for his family’s future
The couple alleged that their migration agent never correctly submitted Mr Barghachoun’s visa application
Mr Barghachoun said he had no idea about the letter and only found out his application had been rejected when his Medicare card was cancelled.
Despite the couple’s claim that they had been misled by their agent, the Immigration Minister’s office told Mr Barghachoun in January that his visa had expired and he had to leave Australia.
With the help of Auslan interpreters, Ms. Merhi contacted the Ministry of the Interior, Immigration and Citizenship, which said it had no evidence of her marriage or three children.
On January 23, the federal government granted a last-minute three-month visa extension to Mr Barghachoun, 24 hours before he was scheduled to board a plane to leave the country.
Ms Merhi grew up in Australia and met her husband online while he lived in Lebanon and said the pair connected because of their shared disability.