Family of Pakistani student in Australia denied visa to visit dying son

Published: December 22, 2015


The Australian High Commission in Islamabad has denied visit visas to a dying Pakistani student’s family, saying it was not satisfied the mother and brother will return to the home country.

Twenty-four year old Hassan Asif who is currently in the care of a Melbourne City Mission youth homelessness refuge has only weeks to live.

The Mission has urged Australia’s immigration minister Peter Dutton to review the decision. “Melbourne City Mission believes it is unconscionable that this young man — who has family — be allowed to die without a loved one by his side.”

Hassan Asif with a picture of his family. PHOTO: MELBOURNE CITY MISSION

Asif went to Australia on a student visa in 2104, before being diagnosed with advanced skin cancer in April this year. The cancer progressed into terminal stage last month.

Visa row: US authorities intent on repatriating comatose Pakistani student

Asif himself has appealed to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to allow his mother and brother to travel to Australia to be by his side.

Photo from Hassan Asif’s Facebook profile.

“Simply, I would be honest and say that these are my last days and I’m dying, and I just want my family to be here with me,” Asif said in an interview with Daily Mail Australia. “My mum is very sad – she cries a lot and just wants to be here with me during this time.”

“I don’t have many friends here because before I was diagnosed, most of my time was spent working or studying,” Asif added.

Comatose Pakistani student’s family raise funds for treatment in US

Asif’s lawyer, however, is in the process of filing the family’s visa applications again with fresh supporting documents, hoping for an urgent Immigration Department change of heart.

His oncologist at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre wrote a letter of support in October to facilitate Asif’s family’s visa application, saying the treatment had ceased and he would soon enter the “terminal phase”.

Photo from Hassan Asif’s Facebook profile.

“They are my family, I want them to be with me in those last days,” Asif told Herald Sun. “I’m OK with dying. It’s just the pain and everything, it’s getting so hard. Everything is getting worse, my right eye is shut totally now.”

Melbourne City Mission, the organisation Asif is in the care of, has put up a page titled ‘Hassan’s Dying Wish’, with phone numbers and links to appeal to Australia’s immigration minister Peter Dutton to “re-open Hassan’s case and review the decision”.

This story first appeared on Herald Sun and Sydney Morning Herald

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (55)

  • johar
    Dec 22, 2015 - 8:37PM

    Pakistan should kick the Australians out of this country for this abhorrent decision.Recommend

  • SuperNeo
    Dec 22, 2015 - 8:49PM

    Current environment is not good , feeling really bad for parents. but again why this guy is living their on Australian tax payers money…Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Dec 22, 2015 - 9:19PM

    What do you expect when pakistan refuses to take back deported illegal immigrantsRecommend

  • LifeIsSad
    Dec 22, 2015 - 9:32PM

    Really sad, but surely it’s easier and cheaper for him to fly to Pakistan than for two of his family members to fly to Australia? Why didn’t he do so soon after his diagnosis?

    And one might also ask: if his family can afford the 4000 USD for two return tickets to Australia (and presumably 3 month living expenses as well), why did this poor soul end up living with terminal cancer in a homeless shelter in Australia? Would it not at that point make more sense for him to just return to Pakistan?

    While I am extremely sympathetic to the situation and my heart and prayers go out to Hassan, I’m sorry to say but I would not have granted his family the visa either. Too many red flags (which visa officials are trained to look out for) and the rationale for his family flying to Australia simply does not make sense. Recommend

  • Owais
    Dec 22, 2015 - 9:40PM

    My eyes just teared up. I hope and pray that this young man’s last days pass by peacefully and that he reunites with his family asap!Recommend

  • Jogger
    Dec 22, 2015 - 9:42PM

    Are those in immigration department even humans? If they are, they don’t deserve to be termed as one.Recommend

  • Smiling Buddha
    Dec 22, 2015 - 9:57PM

    Really very very sad…………..

    It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity……..By Albert Einstein……..Recommend

  • ss
    Dec 22, 2015 - 10:15PM

    Maybe visa officer did not get his bribe!Recommend

  • True
    Dec 22, 2015 - 10:50PM

    Do you have any Australian immigrants in Pakistan OR can you simply afford to close the doors to Australian High Commission. Think and then write.Recommend

  • pakistani bloach
    Dec 22, 2015 - 10:52PM

    We urge Ch nisar to bring this pakistani student back in pakistan asap to be with his family.he is the only man in pmln we can trust to do something.Recommend

  • Duggu
    Dec 22, 2015 - 10:54PM

    Have you ever thought that may be he is not fit enough to travel more than 16 hours of flying back home. You and @Tyggar are heartless fellows. A blot on humanity. May Allah ease Hassan’s pain and his last wish be fulfilled, Ameen.Recommend

  • Fact
    Dec 22, 2015 - 11:01PM

    Int’l students have to buy health insurance just FYI.Recommend

  • MJ
    Dec 22, 2015 - 11:40PM

    @Super Neo.

    If you don’t have an ounce of humanity left in you, please go and troll the News websites of your own country that shines so bright.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Dec 23, 2015 - 12:40AM

    Wouldn’t it be far less expensive and far more easy and time-effective to airlift him back to Pakistan to be with his family instead of cursing Australia? But for that Pakistan government is required to show some compassion. Cursing others and blaming them for lack of compassion which you yourselves are not able to exercise is not going to solve the problem.
    Unfortunately, Muslims do not have much of goodwill to draw from in any country of the world. Recommend

  • Protege
    Dec 23, 2015 - 1:05AM

    You surely are a sad life. What if he wanted to stay back to make use of their medical facilities. Surely he had the right to do that but then his condition deteriorated rapidly, as is evident, and he is unable to endure the journey back now. Why is it that all the negative comments are coming from across the border. Has the availability of money dehumanised Indians?Recommend

  • Srehman
    Dec 23, 2015 - 1:18AM

    How sad …heartbreaking …whatever happened to the human rights song that gets sung all the time ..grant this man his dying wish please..Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Dec 23, 2015 - 1:35AM

    I believe that he should go home and be treated there by Pakistani oncologists. Why spend money on travel to Australia and accomodation there? Recommend

  • VGP
    Dec 23, 2015 - 2:29AM

    Sad, and I feel really bad for this young man. But this also shows the level of the standing of Pakistanis in foreign countries Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Dec 23, 2015 - 3:50AM

    Why didn’t he come back to Pakistan when he was diagnosed with cancer?Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Dec 23, 2015 - 3:56AM

    Very sad indeed. The least , the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people (specially the very active vocal critics of Australian government) should do is donate money and have the terminally ill patient be transferred to Pakistan by Air Ambulance. This way the ill patient can spend time in Pakistan with his parents, family, friends and the country he was born in.Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Dec 23, 2015 - 4:28AM

    Why can’t he come back to Pakistan when he is terminally ill. No brainer here!! Plus Khan’s Cancer Hospital provides the same level of care. Of course his family is not going to come back from Australia. Everyone knows that. Recommend

  • Desi
    Dec 23, 2015 - 4:44AM

    Whole world knows that Australia is one of the most rasist countries in the world beside USA. Recommend

  • kdp
    Dec 23, 2015 - 5:44AM

    However they may not careRecommend

  • Kafir
    Dec 23, 2015 - 5:47AM

    Too many red flags (which visa
    officials are trained to look out for)

    One red flag is enough. They are Pakistanis.
    Nuff said.Recommend

  • Sita
    Dec 23, 2015 - 5:53AM

    Looks like Indians have lost their humanity. They never had it in the first place, as a neighbour we know that,soon the world will also experience it. @G. Din:stick to your own side and keep your council for your country men. What you Indians do is called meddling into other people’s affair. A disgusting habit. Recommend

  • prabhjyot singh madan
    Dec 23, 2015 - 6:33AM

    Learn to mourn, he is dying, not a game. I am a Indian Punjabi, respect lives and even courts grant a last dying wish. babaji bless Hassan. Rab rakhaRecommend

  • Feroz
    Dec 23, 2015 - 6:45AM

    This is inhuman and Australian Government must review the same immediately. Pray the Almighty intervene and help this family.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Dec 23, 2015 - 6:46AM

    Very sad story. Problem is, the family may not return when their visa lapses. Pakistan will refuse to take them back if they are tracked and deported. The refusal to take deportees back was the single most damaging step taken by Pakistan. Now most countries deny a visa because of that.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Dec 23, 2015 - 6:48AM

    @LifeIsSad: Good point.Recommend

  • brar
    Dec 23, 2015 - 6:51AM

    Sad for the young man, Instead of asking the Australia to grant visa, the Pakistanis must compel Pakistan Govt to make arrangements for air lifting this young man to Pakistan, if any minister or his family member needs a simple treatment he will o to US,UK or any other country on the expenses of the exchequer, he is the son of the soil why can,t they do the same for him,Recommend

  • Komal S
    Dec 23, 2015 - 7:42AM

    Poor guy, what is his fault? He travelled on a legitimate student visa and got sick. He is not an illegal immigrant. The immigration officials need to show compassion, cannot go by the books. In the worst case you have 2 unintended immigrants, but how many more situations like these are you going to see? Australians are better than this. Recommend

  • Narejo
    Dec 23, 2015 - 8:12AM

    Terminally sick patients are often on life support which makes them unsuitable on commercial airlines. Only way for him to travel would be through a charter medical plane which probably costs 100-200k USD per flight.

    It is sad that people are not feeling compassion for Asif. He is a human being before being a Pakistani or a muslim.Recommend

  • Rizwan khan
    Dec 23, 2015 - 8:30AM

    Dear @True:
    Think before you write. The world is not an island where this cannot happen. It would be better to stop being patronising. What I can see is that we as a nation have had enough of the attitude. If our politicians can be kicked out the masses would do so. As far as humanity goes the guy will pass away , but how you made us feel will stay , therefore sit on your little island and make merry. In the same vein you should also stop your researchers form exploring residents in papa New Guinea and other places as gunfire pigs. I am sure that you know a lot about exploitation. Recommend

  • Craig Garbutt
    Dec 23, 2015 - 8:31AM

    @LifeIsSad: I guess you missed the part where he’s so sick he’s not able to fly.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Dec 23, 2015 - 8:42AM

    @Sita – Indians don’t meddle half as much as Pakistanis do. Look at the amount of Pakistanis coming to India to do all kinds of stuff. Work in Bollywood, get treatment from Indian hospitals, launch their books, hold ghazal concerts, begging to play cricket. If you hate Indians so much then ask your fellow country men to stay in your own country. If Indians did not have any humanity then probably half your country’s kids won’t be alive today. Instead of thanking us you’re calling us inhuman. No wonder the world doesn’t want you in their countries.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Dec 23, 2015 - 8:48AM

    3-4 days ago I read in this very website that the British consulate was rejecting visas to Pakistanis. And now the Australians. What have you done to deserve this?Recommend

  • Amer
    Dec 23, 2015 - 9:10AM

    His brother and mother’s visa application just got approved ! THAT”S GOOD NEWS.
    Feeling so relieved that my country (Australia) still has alot of humanity left. Recommend

  • naeemhussain
    Dec 23, 2015 - 9:19AM

    Shame on youRecommend

  • Mudassir
    Dec 23, 2015 - 9:22AM

    I heard of a Pakistani guy who went to Aus on a visit visa. During his stay, he actually staged a car accident, hospitalized there for 6 months and after recovery, he applied for immigration claiming that he has lost job in Pakistan and cannot go back there. All pre-planned.

    Due to the bad reputation created by such scums, I am not surprised how genuine cases like this one get rejected too.Recommend

  • Ayyubi
    Dec 23, 2015 - 9:33AM

    May Allah Bless this young man!Recommend

  • FG
    Dec 23, 2015 - 9:43AM

    It looks like Pakistanis are busy cursing Australians. Shouldn’t your foreign office working day in and day out to sort this matter out? If Malala treatment can be sponsored from your government why not this young man? Now his cancer is in Advanced stage, the least your government could do is assure Australian high commission and get his family visas and sponsor their stay in Australia. It wouldn’t cost much. Blame your government for turning a blind eye. If your government intervenes the family will get a visa and assurance that they will come back. Recommend

  • Dec 23, 2015 - 9:46AM

    My deepest commiserations to the bereaved and frightened family. May Allah Almighty give their son complete health and recovery. Ameen. SalamsRecommend

  • Dec 23, 2015 - 10:07AM

    you must be from india. If yes then no surprise.Recommend

  • Dec 23, 2015 - 10:09AM

    this is really heartbreaking unfortunate situation. No one can imagine what his family feeling at the moment and how this lone soul is passing his last days. I pray Allah for his recovery. In Sha AllahRecommend

  • An Indian
    Dec 23, 2015 - 10:29AM

    @Sita: “Looks like Indians have lost their humanity. They never had it in the first place, as a neighbour we know that,soon the world will also experience it.”

    Is that the reason why hundreds of Pakistani children are treated in India free of cost every year?? I can give many links where Pakistani children are being treated for life threatening diseases or getting free transplants in India. India is very poor too. We don’t have to help those children. Why don’t you take them to iron brother China or big brother Saudi Arabia (both are incredibly rich). I doubt if the situation was reversed, Pakistan would help even one Indian child. The least you can do if type with your real Muslim name. Recommend

  • Rummat
    Dec 23, 2015 - 11:00AM

    Stupid Comment. They are humans ofcourse. Its as if saying that judge making a decision unfair is human or not. Recommend

  • Waseem
    Dec 23, 2015 - 11:36AM

    The family has been granted visa today.Recommend

  • Sita
    Dec 23, 2015 - 6:29PM

    @An Indian:
    See, how it hurts? I’m glad that people like @Rahul, @Ganga Din, @Indian have reacted. This is how it feels when day and night you people bash Muslims and Pakistanis. I’m glad that you tasted your own medicine and I hope it was bitter than you expected. Now do one more thing, don’t coment on news which has nothing to do with you. A young man is dying and we don’t need your apathetic attitude. If you can’t console then keep your mouth shut. Recommend

  • LS
    Dec 23, 2015 - 8:33PM

    Yes we have no humanity left but we don’t attempt to bomb USS Cole , times square, kill people in California, Plan attacks world over, house terrorists… Thanks but no thanks for your humanity… Being inhumane is better… You forget that Pakistanis were abusing Australian Immigration policies and landed in Australia via boat. It also ran ad campaigns in Pakistan asking NOT to come to Australia via boat. Wasn’t a Pakistani caught in Austria travellng on fake Syrian Passport and helped in Paris Bombings? There are 80,000 illegal immigrants in EU from Pakistan that your government is refusing to accept..

    So yes we are inhuman because India put them in that position? Or is it your own people who put themselves in that position?Recommend

  • Fiqa
    Dec 23, 2015 - 9:30PM

    The matter has been solved. Keep on ranting@LS: Recommend

  • ajeet
    Dec 24, 2015 - 4:09AM

    We’ll have to see if Arab countries,will allow an Indian patient’s parents to visit if he had a terminal disease. Muslims must remember that if they treat their minorities in inhuman manner, the rest of the world would do the same to them.Recommend

  • Atheist
    Dec 24, 2015 - 6:59AM

    Pakis / Muslims are talking about humanity, how rich!!Recommend

  • Pakhtun
    Dec 24, 2015 - 4:47PM


    I love your ignorance. Read the news again. He was a student, means paying international fees which support many Australian families. You should be ashamed even for your existence Recommend

  • Dec 25, 2015 - 4:10AM

    Poor boy. May his wish be granted. Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 13, 2016 - 12:22AM

    @SS and all who recommended, how much bribe is needed to get student visa, i want to study in Australia.Recommend

More in World