A relieved Tippett family thanks the Immigration Minister
A relieved Tippett family thanks the Immigration Minister Contributed

Relieved dad thanks Minister Dutton for 'dream come true'

A FATHER has thanked the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton for reversing the decision to reject his ill daughter's permanent residency

Kai Tippett and his wife Hayley of Lennox Head had their applications for permanent residency approved midway through April 2015.

But their six-year-old daughter Sienna's application was refused because she had an undiagnosed illness affecting her balance and speech.

The Immigration Department deemed her a potential cost to the Australian Government because of her mystery disability.

The family, originally from the UK, engaged in an extensive media campaign, with 30,000 people signing an online petition demanding Immigration Minister Peter Dutton intervene.

News the rejection had been reversed was delivered by a phone call to the Tippett family on Thursday.

"It was the most nerve wracking stuff in my life, the reporters and TV, especially live TV," Mr Tippet reflected on Friday.

"The Commonwealth doctor could see my daughter as a significant cost and that was my fight.

"He'd rejected her and never met her, so I had to stand up for my daughter's right.

"My story came from the heart, it's all true and it's all about my family and I promised them a perfect existence from Australia and now we have that response from Peter Dutton, it's time to live our dream."

The approval was bitter-sweet for the family who had made friends with four other families in Australia waiting for similar responses.

"If they say no, you only get 28 days to leave the country," Mr Tippett said.

"One South African family we knew, they got rejected four days before us and they got to leave Australia on the 22nd of this month.

"Their daughter has kidney disease, again, it was the same thing, too much cost.

"He told me he was refused and I told him I was approved which was pretty hard."

Mr Tippett represented himself with no legal help, arguing that without a diagnosis it was not possible to determine Sienna would be a cost to the government.

He also said in the five and a half years his family had "never claimed a single cent", even though being from the UK they were entitled to medical care.

There was no reason given for their permanent residency on Thursday.

"We're still in total shock, it took us a few days to come to terms with it," Mr Tippett said.

As for Sienna, the little girl is thriving - attending school, learning sign language and has been shielded from the proceedings by her parents.

"She is just unbelievable. She's just a beautiful little girl and she's just happy as normal," Mr Tippett said.

"They still don't know what is causing it.

"I just want to thank everyone who supports us, 30,000 signatures on change.org, immense support on our Facebook page. And the main thing I'd like to thank Mr Dutton for giving us this chance to live in Australia."

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