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Australia reverses decision on visa request of 104-year-old widow

UPI News Service, 03/08/2005 

The Australian government Tuesday reversed its rejection of a permanent visa for a 104-year-old Chinese widow.

Early Tuesday, the government's Migration Review Tribunal turned down an appeal by Hu Cuiyu of a government decision earlier this year not to grant her an aged parent visa.

But later in the day, Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone announced she was using her discretionary powers to allow the woman to stay in the country, the Australian Broadcasting Corp., said.

The Chinese woman came to Australia on a one-year tourist visa in 1995 to see her adopted daughter, who lives in Melbourne. When she went to leave, however, no airline would take her because she was considered too old and frail, the Herald Sun reported.

Friends say she has no home or family in China.

By law, she could have been deported or locked away in a detention center, but now can remain in the country and is eligible for government-sponsored health care.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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