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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 14:24 GMT
Australia lets elderly widow stay
A 104-year-old Chinese woman who was repeatedly refused a visa to stay in Australia, her home for 10 years, has been granted permanent residency.

Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said she had used her discretionary powers to allow Cui Yu Hu to stay.

Mrs Hu came to Australia on a one-year tourist visa a decade ago to see her adopted daughter, but overstayed because of ill health.

Overstaying her visa then undermined her attempts to remain permanently.

In a late night statement, Ms Vanstone said she had granted Mrs Hu a visa, "as my department had always intended".

Earlier on Tuesday, Mrs Hu lost an appeal against a government decision not to grant her an aged parent visa, but Ms Vanstone stepped in, citing unique circumstances, according to ABC radio.

Widowed in 1973, Mrs Hu has outlived all her family and friends back in China.

She arrived in Australia in 1995, but when she tried to leave, a year later, no airline would take her because she was deemed too old and frail.

If Ms Vanstone had not intervened, she could have been deported by Australian authorities or locked away in a detention centre.

Mrs Hu received a letter from the Australian prime minister, John Howard, earlier this year, congratulating her on her longevity.

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