Pakistani international student Hassan Asif has died just over a week after his mother and brother were finally granted permission to come to Australia to see him.
Hassan, 25, died from terminal cancer on Wednesday morning in a Melbourne hospice, his brother Rameez Asif announced.
Both Rameez and his mother were with Hassan when he died, Rameez said in a statement, and had been by his side since they arrived in Australia on December 29.
Rameez said he, his mother and their family in Lahore, Pakistan, were grateful for the care and support Hassan had received in Melbourne to be able to see him again before he died.
“It was like a dream come true to be with Hassan,” he said in the statement.
“We literally lost hope when our visas got rejected but we still made it to Australia. I have no words to describe how happy we were to be with Hassan.
“My brother got the best possible care. Thank you.”
The immigration department had initially denied Rameez and his mother visas to visit Hassan, who was diagnosed with cancer while studying architecture at a Melbourne university.
The department initially rejected the applications because it was not satisfied they would comply with the conditions.
However, after public backlash over the case, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton contacted Australian officials in Islamabad to review the case.
“I asked the department or the post in Islamabad to have a look at the case, to ask for additional information,” he told Sky News in December.
“That’s happened and the visas have been issued so I’m hopeful that they can arrive in Australia soon, spend some time with their terminally ill son and brother and I think that’s what most Australians would expect.”
Hassan’s family have extended an open invitation to all those who would like to attend his funeral and pay their final respects to him.
A funeral service will take place on Thursday, January 7 from noon at Preston Mosque, 90 Cramer Street, Preston.
Community members intending to attend the funeral service are advised that the dress code in the mosque is modest attire.