Australia grants special visa to Indian for father’s funeral

Sydney, Jan 15 (IANS) A 26-year-old Indian Sikh was on Friday granted a special visa by the Australian government on humanitarian grounds.

The special visa will allow Jaspal Singh to return to Australia after attending his father’s funeral in India, ABC reported on Friday.

The 26-year-old, who arrived in Australia as a student, was awaiting the arrival of his father and mother at Melbourne Airport on Monday morning when the tragedy struck.

Gurdyal Singh collapsed at the arrival gate following a suspected heart attack. He died at the scene, despite the efforts of paramedics.

The family was making arrangements for the funeral in India and Jaspal Singh was planning to escort the body back home.

However, Jaspal Singh’s case was complicated by the class of bridging visa, which meant he was at risk of being blocked from coming back to Australia.

Jaspal Singh’s visa had expired for three weeks in 2013 after his separation from his previous partner.

He had applied for a new visa with his wife Mandeep Kaur but was waiting for approval by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Following an appeal from his family, Jaspal Singh was granted special visa.

Describing Jaspal Singh’s situation as complex, a spokesman for the Immigration Minister Dutton, in a statement said: “Mr. Singh has been given a bridging visa which will enable him to escort his father’s body to India and then return to Australia.”

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