ISIS brides case compared to Mark Green's stuck family

Anger as ISIS brides are welcomed back into Australia but Scottish family who have worked hard and paid taxes for a decade still can’t get a visa

  • Mark Green and his family are still waiting on a decision about their residency
  • Supporters have slammed government for not giving them permanent status 
  • They have compared the family’s visa struggles with ISIS brides being accepted 
  • Scots family faced deportation in August but were given a last minute reprieve 
  • But they have been left in limbo, living from one three-month visa to the next 

There is growing fury over the struggles of a Scottish family hoping to get permanent residency in Australia as ISIS brides are welcomed back to Sydney and Melbourne. 

Mark Green, 44, wife Kelly, 45, and their daughter Rebecca, 20, from Adelaide, have battled months of legal issues as immigration officials try to deport them – even though they have done nothing wrong. 

The family were informed last week that their temporary extension visa was renewed for another three months for the third time.

However, Mr Green said that the family ‘can’t keep living like this’ as they continue waiting for permanent residency. 

Their case has drawn comparisons to the treatment of returning Australian women and their families, who were allowed to return to settle back in Sydney and Melbourne despite their husbands fighting for Islamic State. 

The resettlement of the ISIS brides triggered supporters of the Green family to question why the hardworking family was still unable to get their permanent residency approved. 

SA-Best MLC Frank Pangallo – who has been advocating strongly on behalf of the Green family – told Daily Mail Australia that the situation was ‘complete madness’.

Mark Green, 44, wife Kelly, 45, and daughter Rebecca, 20, from Adelaide, are facing another delay in their bid for permanent residence

Their case has drawn comparisons with the treatment of returning ISIS brides and their families, who have been allowed to settle in Sydney’s western suburbs

‘This has gone from total frustration for the Green family to complete madness,’ he said.

‘The government can decide in a heartbeat to let the wives of ISIS terrorists back into the country and revoke the visa cancellation of a world famous sportsman (Novak Djokovic), yet struggles to make a decision to allow the Green family to live permanently in Australia.

‘There is no way on Earth this loving, hard-working, tax-paying family should be forced to leave our shores after calling Australia home for the past 10 years – especially given the reasons they face being kicked out are totally out of their control.

‘This is a family this country is crying out for. Mark’s specialists skills are why he was headhunted in the first place to come to Australia to work – and this is the way the government treats them.’ 

SA-BEST MLC Frank Pangallo – who has been advocating strongly on behalf of the Green family – told Daily Mail Australia that the situation was ‘complete madness’

 The Greens have spent the past six months trying to have their problems addressed by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles. 

After the latest extension, Mr Green said he did not want to criticise the process but admitted he could not help but note the resolution of the cases involving the ISIS brides and Novak Djokovic. 

A series of broken promises by employers left the family stranded without a visa after emigrating from Ayrshire in central Scotland in 2012 for a new life Down Under.

The family have been let down seven times by companies sponsoring Mr Green, and were given a deadline to leave the country in August or face deportation.

They have already spent $150,000 on visa applications and immigration lawyers, but his employers have repeatedly gone bust before the mandatory three years of sponsorship for residency could be completed.

Another former boss even told Mr Green that he’d applied for the family’s citizenship and paid their fees – but faked the paperwork in a heartbreaking blow.

A series of broken promises by employers left them without a visa 10 years after emigrating from Scotland for a new life (pictured, Mark Green at work as a solar installation specialist)

The Greens have spent $150,000 on visa applications and immigration lawyers but employers have repeatedly gone bust before the mandatory three years of sponsorship for residency

As a result, they unwittingly overstayed their visa and faced being kicked out of the country in August until the 11th-hour intervention gave them a three-month lifeline.

‘I was totally naive – I didn’t think anybody was like this,’ Mr Green admitted. ‘I thought it would all be smooth sailing – but I was just naive to it all.

‘I came here to better my life, and it’s just been an absolute nightmare.’

The constant disappointments are wrecking their life. They had to sell everything they owned when they thought they were being sent back to Scotland.

Their daughter isn’t even able to study for her university degree or work full-time under her visa conditions.

‘The nursing course she wanted to do for her career is a three-year course,’ Mr Green revealed.

‘The universities will not take her on as her visa is only for three months at a time with no guarantee that it will be extended.

‘We can’t keep living in 12-week cycles. We have no furniture because we don’t want to buy again only to be told to leave.’

Ms Green fears they will once again be told they are getting kicked out the country – but dreams of being allowed at last to stay.

‘Every day we wake up wondering if this will be the day,’ she added.

The Greens have spent $150,000 on visa applications and immigration lawyers but employers have repeatedly gone bust before the mandatory three years of sponsorship for residency

Beloved pet dog Maisie (pictured with mum Kelly, left, and daughter Rebecca) was going to be left behind when the family faced deportation because of $35,000 flight and quarantine fees

‘I have every respect for the Australian government and know there will be a lot of situations they have to deal with right now, but our lives are still very much on hold,’ said Mr Green..

‘We love it here and it is now home after all these years,’ said the father-of-two.

His eldest son Jamie flew back to Scotland after visa conditions also stopped him from working in Australia.

‘I have every respect for the Australian government and know there will be a lot of situations they have to deal with right now, but our lives are still very much on hold,’ said Mr Green.

‘We have given our all to this country – we all call it home and will continue to do so.’

The family sold everything they had in Scotland when they left ten years ago and have nothing awaiting them back in the UK.

They faced being homeless and jobless if they had returned in August after Mr Green’s UK electrical certification expired while he was in Australia.

Now they just want the chance to buy their own home and settle back into their happy Australian life without fear of it ending at any moment.

‘We were invited to come to this country because they needed my skills,’ Mr Green added.

‘We will not give up on the hope that the minister will soon make a decision for our family so we can start living life.

‘Getting a mortgage and starting my daughter’s career are the biggest priorities for us once the minister makes his decision.

‘We are hoping for a Christmas present from the minister in form of a good answer.’

TIMELINE OF THE GREENS’ PLIGHT 

February 2012 – Mark Green is headhunted for his specialist solar installation skills to fly his family out from Ayrshire 40km south-west of Glasgow in Scotland to a new life in Adelaide, South Australia, 16,000km away.

May 2014 – Mark has to change jobs, just one year away from qualifying for residency after the company closes.

August 2014 – History repeats and Mark has to find another new employer. The family is paying for all their own healthcare as they don’t qualify for Medicare on their visa and also $8,000 a year for daughter Rebecca’s education at the local public state school.

August 2015 – Mark has to find another new company. His son Jamie has had to fly back to Scotland because he was unable to work in Australia under the terms of the work visa and residency is at least three years away again.

April 2021 – The Green family discover the residency application Mark’s boss promised them was faked, unbeknownst to them. As a result their visa conditions had been breached which means they had to leave the country to re-apply. They begin work on trying to overturn the decision and get the visa reverted to the type which would allow them to stay in Australia while they apply. As the application drags on they realise they will be kicked out the country and start selling their prized possessions.

June 2022 – They make their first public appeal to the government for mercy, as friends and co-workers beg for an intervention the way the new Labor government saved the Biloela family and allowed them to stay in the country. The family have already spent $150,000 on visa applications and immigration lawyers.

July 2022 – Daily Mail Australia reveals their desperate plight and the story goes global, making headlines in the UK and on British TV.

August 10, 2022 – The family are due to be deported and have a flight booked at 10.20pm from Adelaide back to the UK, but they have no idea where they will live or work. After local MP Frank Pangallo puts them in touch with a new immigration lawyer, they’re persuaded to stay and fight at 3.30pm. At 7pm, just as they should have been checking in for their flight, they get a call from South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas telling them they’ve been given a reprieve. He persuaded Labor immigration minister Andrew Giles to give them an extra month to file their paperwork to stay in the country.

August 22, 2022 – The family are given 24 hours to fill in some 240 pages of visa paperwork requiring travel details from the past 30 years but are hampered by the lack of old passports to trace their movements.

August 29, 2022 – The minister wants the finalised full file on the family’s visa application to make his decision. 

December 2, 2022 – The family are still awaiting a decision and are now on their third three-month temporary visa extension.

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