Escaping Immigration Detention
My family was taken into immigration detention in April 2017. Once my family and I were taken into immigration detention, the removals officer immediately engaged the removals process to remove our family back to Malaysia. They were eager to send us back because my son would be turning 10 very soon.
Through a friend’s recommendation, we immediately contacted Agape for help. It was very difficult because over the last few years we engaged a ‘friend’ to help us with our immigration matters and we had very complex and messy cases. We had no idea what our ‘friend’ had done for us so we couldn’t give Agape much information. Agape tried very hard to contact my ‘friend’ but he had disappeared and was not able to help.
We were affected by section 48 bar, section 48A bar, and also only had a few days to lodge a substantive visa application whilst we were in immigration detention. We lost all hope because we were stuck in detention and were restricted with our communication. We couldn’t get hold of our ‘friend’ to tell Agape about our whole immigration history. On the last day allowed for us to lodge a valid application, we were told that if we didn’t lodge any application, we would be sent back to Malaysia the next day. We lost all hope already.
Luckily, on that night, Agape found a way. They worked until very late that night going back and forth with us as we were required to sign the visa application forms they prepared urgently, and making sure a valid application was lodged before midnight. The next day, we were told that the removals process was aborted.
We were shortly granted Bridging Visas and released despite our previous poor immigration history. All of this happened within a week or so.
We had never met Agape before but we fully trusted them because they tried so hard with our cases. They cost a fortune but I am very glad that I ended up spending my money because otherwise my family would be back in Malaysia and never be able to return to Australia.
Shortly after our release, my son who was born in Australia turned 10 years of age and we are currently applying for Australian citizenship for him. We would fully recommend Jason, Adele and the team at Agape. They really try their best to help us immigrants.
-Chee Hoong CHEONG