A 96-year-old grandmother at the centre of a deportation row will remain in Scotland after a flight of “torture” home from Australia.
Christina Grant, who has dementia and is partially blind, has been at the centre of a red-tape row with immigration authorities, resulting in an ultimatum to leave the country by July 26. However her relatives claim they have heard nothing since and believe a new visa application would be rejected on health grounds.
This resulted in an excruciating 10,000 mile journey home to the house she owns in the village of Dulnain Bridge in Strathspey. Accompanied by son Allan Grant and his wife Diane, Mrs Grant left her home in Sydney following the visa mix-up only to be delayed for five hours. She also fell ill several times on what became a six-hour car journey to her house from Glasgow Airport.
Her son and daughter-in-law will stay with her until November to find her a suitable nursing home.
Diane Grant, 67, said: “She won’t be going back to Australia. Her dementia has got a lot worse in the last six months. I would not put her through that torture again.
“When we took her over there (two years ago), we stopped in Dubai and went to a resort, but there’s no way we can even think about a stopover.
“We have to keep her going because she cannot be in unfamiliar places due to her poor eyesight.”
Mrs Grant made the move to New South Wales in Australia in 2015 to be nearer her family after her son Robert, who looked after her, died.
Her visitor visa required that she leave the country once a year. But this had expired and the authorities decided that a South Pacific Cruise booked for her by her family did not qualify.
But Australian government officials say they are willing to resolve the situation, stressing that she should apply.
“We are still absolutely devastated and disgusted with the Australian Government that they would put an individual through this at 96 years old,” said Diane.
“It’s just shocking. I would like to see any politician and bureaucrat do that with a member of their family.”
After arriving at Dulnain Bridge on Friday, Christina has been resting.
Diane added: “We are staying in her house at Dulnain Bridge till November and hoping we can get her into a home before we leave.
“Of course, we will have to return regularly for extended trips.
“She is very confused about everything right now.”