Family & Pets
Parents plead to be reunited with stranded son
The parents of an Australian-born toddler have pleaded with federal authorities to allow them to reunite with their son, who is stranded in India.
Joy and Jashan have not seen their son Arhaan since he travelled overseas with his grandparents on February 29.
Following his departure, the Australian government introduced coronavirus travel measures which prevented non-citizens from entering the country.
Then India shut its international borders, meaning that Arhaan’s parents are unable to bring him to Australia.
Joy, an Australian citizen, told 9News he had applied for an exemption twice to allow Arhaan’s grandparents to bring the toddler home, and was denied on both occasions by the Department of Home Affairs.
“We’ve tried a lot, but we’ve failed,” said Jashan.
“We contacted government agencies, Australian High Commission back in India, no help at all,” Joy said. “We just want our son back, that’s all.”
On Wednesday evening, the Australian Border Force told the outlet it will grant an exemption to Joy’s mother only.
“The ABF may require and request additional supporting evidence when considering a case and this is what occurred for this particular case,” the agency said in a statement.
John Hourigan, national president of the Migration Institute of Australia, said there have been “inconsistencies” in the way applications have been granted.
“From what we’re seeing there is inconsistency being applied,” Hourigan told SBS News.
“Some people are getting permission to travel, others aren’t.”
Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison international travel would remain on hold for “the foreseeable future”.
International flights to and from India remain suspended until June 30.
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