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Immigration Minister Says Boy With Autism Could Be Allowed To Stay In Australia

Hope for 10-year-old Queensland boy Tyrone Sevilla, after Peter Dutton promised to review the case.

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Australia's immigration minister has indicated that he will look at the case of Tyrone Sevilla, a 10-year-old boy with autism at risk of being deported to the Philippines.


Tyrone and his mother Maria migrated from the Philippines to Townsville eight years ago, where she now works as a nurse.

Tyrone's mother Maria had been told by the Migration Review Tribunal that she would not be granted a skilled worker visa because her son's condition would be a burden on the health system, but it's now looking like immigration minister Peter Dutton will step in and use his ministerial discretion to help them.

"I think this is a case where we would be able to help the family," Mr Dutton told ABC Radio.

"I hope that we can provide a good outcome for this family that I think they deserve."

The immigration minister has the power under the Immigration Act to overrule the department's decision.

The comments from Mr Dutton come after Maria Savilla delivered a petition of more than 122,000 signatures to his office on Monday.

Maria Sevilla handing in petition to Immigration Minister to keep autistic son in Australia @9NewsBrisbane #9News

Peter Dutton said a new bridging visa would be issued to Tyrone's mother while he considered her application. But Maria Sevilla told BuzzFeed News that she has not received it yet, nor has she been contacted by anyone from the immigration department.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

"We only heard the minister was reconsidering our application through media reports" she said.

A spokesperson for Mr Dutton told BuzzFeed News the review could take a few weeks.

"Obviously in these cases, we need to apply common sense," Peter Dutton told ABC radio.

"We're a compassionate society and we want to help families that are in difficult situations."

The community has rallied around the family by writing letters of support and setting up a trust fund. One doctor even promised to give Tyrone free medical treatment until he turned 18.

My letter to Peter Dutton in support of Maria and Tyrone Sevilla. Sign the petition here:

Ms Sevilla says she is "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of support.