Parents Aneesh Kollikkara and Krishna Aneesh immigrated to Australia from India with their children seven years ago – daughter Aaryasree, 8, and son Aaryan.
They have well paid jobs in telecommunications and cyber security, a home and have been part of the community for almost a decade.
Despite Perth being the only home the children have known and Mr Kollikara and Ms Aneesh working in critical industries, the family are facing deportation due to Aaryan’s disability.
Aaryan, 10, was born with Down syndrome, and the Immigration Department has denied the family permanent residency visas due to potential costs his disability may have on the health system.
The family have exhausted the appeals process and have just two weeks until they are deported.
Ms Aneesh told ABC Radio Perth the visa process had taken a large emotional toll on their family, and her children did not want to leave their home in Perth.
‘They are integrated into the community and if we had to move back to India, it would be a new environment for them,’ she said.
‘The culture, society, everything here is very different from India and also it will be very hard for Aaryan to survive there because of this [disability].
‘Even though he has Down Syndrome, he is really healthy … he has the same physical capabilities like any other child.
‘While the Perth community is welcoming of his disability, Aaryan is known to the immigration department as a “burden” to taxpayers.
Munashe Rusamo, an associate at Estrin Saul Lawyers in Perth, said the government had placed a caveat in the Disability Discrimination Act, which allowed it to knock back visas for immigrants if they had health issues or a disability.
‘The justification is they are saving the public some sort of money, or they’re saving public health infrastructure from being overloaded,’ he said.
Mr Rusamo said despite numerous campaigns to change, it remained a hidden issue and one he felt needed to change immediately.
Aaryan is happy, healthy and mostly independent. He goes to school, loves riding his bike and playing with his friends. 7News report.
‘It will be emotional and mental trauma for the kids. If we are to tell my younger one that we have to go back to India because of your brother’s condition I couldn’t imagine how she will be thinking and in future how the kids will be,’ Kollikkara said.
The family has used Medicare for some of Aaryan’s appointments but has never claimed financial help through the NDIS.