Hard-working Scottish family win battle to stay in Australia after facing eviction despite paying taxes Down Under for more than a decade
- The Green family can apply for a residence permit
- They moved for work in February 2012
A Scottish family that has lived in Australia for more than 10 years has finally won the long battle to stay in Australia.
The Green family has been allowed to stay in Australia while applying for permanent residency after a nearly year-long legal battle that cost more than $150,000.
Mark Green, 44, his wife Kelly, 45, son Jamie and daughter Rebecca moved to Australia from Scotland in February 2012 when Mr Green was headhunted for his specialist solar panel installation skills in Adelaide.
However, in May 2014, Mr Green had to change jobs after the solar energy company he worked for went bankrupt, jeopardizing his visa just a year before he qualified for residency.
The Greens family has been granted permission to apply for permanent residency (Photo: Mark Green, 44, wife Kelly, 45, and daughter Rebecca, 19)
The family desperately wanted to stay in Australia, but were let down by another seven employers who quit before their visa papers could be completed.
A former boss had promised Mr Green that he would pay the family’s citizenship application fee so that the Scottish family would find out he had falsified the documents.
Mr Green’s son Jamie had to fly back to their former home in Ayrshire in 2015 after the family’s visa issues prevented him from working in Australia.
In June 2022, the Greens issued a public appeal for help from the newly elected Labor government after seeing the Tamil asylum-seeking Murugappan family in Biloela, regional Queensland, allowed to stay.
They said they had given up all their life in Scotland to build a house in Australia and sold everything they owned.
Mr Green’s UK electricity certification had also expired since moving to Australia, meaning he would be unemployed if forced to move back.
Mark Green (pictured with wife Kelly) moved his family to Adelaide in 2012 after being headhunted by a solar panel company
The family was due to be deported and had booked a flight to the UK at 10:20pm on 10 August 2022, but was given a last-minute extension by Immigration Secretary Andrew Giles.
Barely a year after their public appeal, the Greens have finally been allowed to apply for permanent residency.
Mr Green told 2GB‘s Ben Fordham: ‘The minister has given us a visa for 600 visitors with which we can apply for a visa within the country.’
He said his family spent more than $150,000 on visa applications and immigration lawyers during the struggle to stay Down Under.
TIMELINE OF THE FIGHT OF THE GREENS
February 2012 – Mark Green is being headhunted for his specialist solar installation skills to fly his family from Ayrshire, 40km south-west of Glasgow in Scotland, to a new life in Adelaide, South Australia, 16,000km away.
May 2014 – Mark has to change jobs just a year before he becomes eligible for a residency after the company closes.
August 2014 – History repeats itself and Mark has to find another new employer. The family pays for all of their own health care due to ineligibility for Medicare on their visas and also $8,000 a year for daughter Rebecca’s education at the local state public school.
August 2015 – Mark needs to find another new business. His son Jamie had to fly back to Scotland because he was unable to work in Australia under the terms of the work visa and the residence permit is again at least three years.
April 2021 – The Green family discovers that the application for a residence permit that Mark’s boss promised them was forged, unbeknownst to them. As a result, their visa conditions had been violated, meaning they had to leave the country to reapply. They start trying to reverse the decision and get the visa back to the type that allows them to stay in Australia while they apply. As the application progresses, they realize they will be kicked out of the country and start selling their valuable assets.
June 2022 – They make their first public appeal to the government for mercy, as friends and colleagues plead for intervention as the new Labor government rescued the Biloela family and allowed them to stay in the country. The family has already spent $150,000 on visa applications and immigration lawyers.
July 2022 – Daily Mail Australia reveal their desperate plight and the story goes global, making headlines in the UK and on UK TV.
August 10, 2022 – The family is about to be evicted and have booked a flight from Adelaide back to the UK at 10.20pm, but they have no idea where they will live or work. After local MP Frank Pangallo puts them in touch with a new immigration lawyer, at 3:30 pm they are persuaded to stay and fight. At 7pm, just as they should have checked in for their flight, they receive a call from South Australian Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas informing them that they have been postponed. He persuaded the Minister of Labor Immigration, Andrew Giles, to give them an extra month to submit their paperwork to remain in the country.
August 22, 2022 – The family is given 24 hours to fill out some 240 pages of visa paperwork requiring all their travel details for the past three decades, but are hampered by handing in their old passports detailing visas and international travel when they previously were renewed this year.
August 29, 2022 – The minister wants the final complete file on the family’s visa application to make its decision.