Kerry's Aussie dream shatters
LIFE and the Australian Immigration Department sometimes just do not seem fair.
Take the Fulluck family, of Glenfields. For the past three years they have been ticking all the right boxes to achieve their dream of living in Australia.
But in February - with their goal in sight - the Immigration Department changed the rules and they feel they have no choice but to go back home to England.
“We came out on a student visa in 2008 to study hairdressing and beauty as we were advised by an immigration company that this was on the skilled shortage list,” Kerry Fulluck said.
“We were told that if I came on the student visa, then when I qualified I could become a permanent resident.
“But last year, a year into my course, we heard they might be taking hairdressing off the list of skill shortages.
“We weren’t too worried as we assumed it wouldn’t apply to us as we were already here, we thought it would apply to new applicants.”
But in March the family received the terrible news that this was not so.
The Fullucks have been advised by their immigration lawyer that they could only stay was if an employer sponsored Kerry for two years.
That the Fullucks had bought a home in Australia, Mrs Fulluck studied at an Australian education institution in an industry once in short supply and their children had been attending Australian schools did not seem to qualify for them to call Australia home.
The family’s attempts to find a sponsor have also run into bad luck.
“I found a hair salon in Mooloolaba which said it would sponsor me and give me a two-year contract and then it closed down. I found another, but it changed its mind at the last minute,” Mrs Fulluck said.
With their options exhausted, Stephen and their son Jacob will return to England on Tuesday, leaving Kerry and their daughter Ellis behind to sell the family home.
“We don’t want to go back to England, we left for a better life here but it has turned into a nightmare,” Mrs Fulluck said.
“We’ve made good friends, my son represented Queensland in football, we’ve integrated and we’ve settled.
“It seems an impossibility to stay here. We’ve all worked, paid taxes, paid for schooling, medical and everything, we’ve done what we needed to do and followed the rules and regulations. But we take one step forward and then 20 steps backwards.
“We have nothing left in England as we sold everything to move here.
“We’ve put all our money into Australia, but it obviously was not good enough. They’d rather have somebody who came in on a boat.”