Mark Green is a salt of the earth, tough Scottish man, but lately he can’t help crying.
“The stress is killing me,” Mr Green said.
In the last couple of months he has lost 15 kilograms and the health of his wife Kelly and daughter Rebecca has also been severely affected.
Ten years ago Mr Green was head hunted to come to Australia on a visa because of his skills as an electrician – installing large solar systems into factories and businesses.
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“I was sponsored by an operator here, to work in the industry, because there were few Australians with the skills to do the type of work I do,” he said.
So Mr Green and his family packed up and came to Australia. They settled in well.
“We love the place and the people,” Mrs Green said.
They were on a three-year visa, with the intention of getting a permanent residency visa at the end of the employment contract.
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But before the three years was up, his employer went broke. He was quickly snapped up by another solar installation business, but they too went under while on his three year visa.
So he found another job straight away and once again, had to start his three-year term all over again.
“This happened seven times to me, because every time the operator closed the business down, he didn’t have to be liable for the warranty on solar parts,” Mr Green said.
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“It’s a sad fact of the business here, many operators close down only to re-open in another name and avoid warranty.”
So after seven visas and through no fault of his own, Mr Green and his family have now been told by immigration they must leave the country and re-apply to come here from Scotland.
“But there are no assurances they will allow us back,” he said.
“And we have spent over $150,000 already on lawyers and visas. Going back to Scotland will cost us another $60,000.”
“The visa system in this country is cruel, unfair and throws the wrong types of people out,” said South Australian Best politician, Frank Pangallo, who is lobbying on behalf of the family.
“We desperately need people like the Green family in Australia, we shouldn’t be deporting them.”
Mrs Green has a job that couldn’t be more Australian.
“I make pies at Vili’s bakery in Adelaide,” she said.
And her boss Rosemary couldn’t be happier with her.
“I can’t get enough retail and factory staff and if I lose a great worker like Kelly, it will affect my business,” Rosemary said.
Mr Green’s current employer Hai, feels the same way.
“He is essential to my business. I can’t find anyone with his skills,” Hai said.
Despite the support from employers, both must go, as the Department of Immigration says.
“Even though I was invited to come here and even though none of this is my fault, I have to go and I just don’t want to,” Mr Green said.
“It’s just so unfair.”
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