Saturday 3 December 2016

Irish Grandad forced to leave Australia after emigrating to be closer to his family

Published 23/01/2016 | 11:53

Janet Bennis and her husband Eugene pictured with their grandchildren. Photo Facebook Janet Bennis
Janet Bennis and her husband Eugene pictured with their grandchildren. Photo Facebook Janet Bennis

An Irish grandfather who emigrated to Australia last year to be a part of his grandchildren’s lives will be forced to leave the country after running into visa issues.

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Eugene Bennis (59) and his wife Janet left their home in Limerick last year to move across the world, where all of their children and grandchildren have settled.

The grandfather will now be forced to return to Ireland by February 14 after he was informed his visitor visa would most likely not be extended. Eugene’s wife Janet’s visa has been extended for a further three months.

The couple have applied for permanent residency in the country, which could be approved in May but they face a fee of more than €60,000 to be paid to Australia’s immigration officials.

The pair revealed they were elated at Christmas as they spent the holiday with all of their children and grandchildren for the first time in 13 years.

“We will cross this bridge that has a bump in the road at the moment,” Janet said.

“Even when I feel at my lowest my grandchildren pick me up.”

Earlier this year, the couple revealed that the move to Australia was the “best decision they ever made”.

"In Ireland our lives were so empty without the children and at times we felt we were existing rather than living. We missed them terribly, but now we get to see at least two of the grandchildren every single day.

"Coming over here is without doubt the best thing we ever did. If any other parents are wondering about doing what we've done, I'd advise them to go for it.

"Life is too short. If our kids can live the dream, then who's to say their parents can't also."

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