Family in limbo as asylum application faces rejection

The Clivin family, hailing from India, had sought asylum in Australia but received a disappointing rejection, leaving them with no alternative but to pursue Ministerial intervention.

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Laila Clivin finds herself trapped in a precarious situation, unsure about her family’s future as their asylum application in Australia faces rejection. Expressing her concerns, she states, “I have tried everything. I have explored every possible visa option. I don’t know what to do next.”

The Clivin family, hailing from India, had sought asylum in Australia but received a disappointing rejection, leaving them with no alternative but to pursue Ministerial intervention. Ms. Clivin reveals that their initial appeal was turned down, and they are currently awaiting a response to their second application.

In 2009, the Clivin family arrived in Australia on student visas. Unfortunately, their subsequent attempts to obtain protection visas proved futile, leading them into a protracted legal battle. Explaining the circumstances that compelled their departure from India, Ms. Clivin shares, “My husband was trying to help the fishermen community who were threatened by Blade Mafia. They started threatening him for his work, and that is when we decided to bring our children to Australia.”

Despite their exhaustive efforts, including appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Court, and High Court, their pleas were dismissed. Additionally, their first application for Ministerial intervention in 2019 and a medical visa in 2023 were both rejected. Consequently, the family has now submitted a second Ministerial Intervention application in the hopes of finding a resolution.

Having resided in Australia for over 14 years, Ms. Clivin explains the challenges they faced due to the changing circumstances. “When I arrived in 2009 as a student, my field of study was hospitality management. However, by the time I completed my studies, my occupation was removed from the Skilled Occupation List. Consequently, I was unable to pursue a work visa.”

Undeterred by the obstacles, the Clivin family has diligently fulfilled their financial obligations, including taxes, rent, medical expenses, education, and living costs, without relying on any financial aid.

Ms. Clivin has been employed as an aged-care worker, while her husband has worked as a cleaner. Both have played vital roles as essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the arduous process of applying for permanent residency has taken a toll on their health and well-being. Ms. Clivin expresses their predicament, stating, “Our health has been permanently compromised due to the stress, the trauma, and the absolutely demeaning process of applying for permanent residency.” Furthermore, their financial resources have been depleted in their pursuit of ineffective legal assistance for their residency applications.

Of great concern to Ms. Clivin are her daughters, Ann Maria and Ann Sapna, who have grown up in Australia and are currently attending university and high school. Describing their attachment to Australia, she emphasises, “They have only ever known an Australian way of life. They are Australian citizens in all but name.”

In a display of solidarity and support, Paola Yévenes, Parish Secretary of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish, Wentworthville, has initiated a petition on Change.org to rally behind the Clivin family.

Yévenes affirms their significance within the community, stating, “The Clivin Family are more than friends to us; they’re family.” The petition seeks to persuade Andrew Giles MP to grant the Clivin family permanent residency, enabling them to establish Australia as their true home.

While anxiously awaiting a response from the Minister, the Clivin family finds themselves in a state of uncertainty, unable to envision a future ahead. Reflecting her apprehension, Ms. Clivin poses a poignant question, “What shall we do if they reject our application? I have no answer to this question.”

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