Community support secures man’s future

Kamran Zehtabi Hamid celebrates receiving refugee status with Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson.

Colac’s Kamran Zehtabi Hamid has finally been able to propose to his girlfriend after living in immigration uncertainty for six years.

The Federal Government has granted Iranian-born Kamran permission to stay in Australia after a six-year fight to be recognised as a refugee.

Kamran said he was thrilled with the decision, and looked forward to continuing to build a new life for himself in Colac, where he has worked and lived for four and a half years.

“The decision is really good, I’m so happy with it,” he said.

Kamran announced his engagement to his partner Lyla three weeks ago after learning of the decision, and said Lyla had been a part of many of his “good times” in Australia.

Supporter Laurie Ryan said he was excited for Kamran and Lyla, and was glad the two could live without fear of Kamran being sent away.

“Kamran said to me one day, ‘I’ll never get engaged or married because I don’t know what is going to happen, I could be in jail next week’ ,” Laurie said.

Kamran arrived in Australia in 2011 and after 15 months of detention, received a bridging visa that was denied renewal in November 2014.

Brian Crook, who was the Colac Otway Shire Council’s deputy mayor at the time, said things became “critical” when Kamran’s visa wasn’t renewed.

“When that negative review came back, we only had three weeks to respond.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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