CALL him an anomaly, caught in limbo or just plain unlucky. But whichever way you look at it, Adam Gray  is between a rock and a hard place.

Adam was due to be deported to Britain on Christmas Eve, a fate he has managed to sidestep by lodging an appeal against the latest Immigration Department judgment against him.

The 33-year-old Sunshine Coast bricklayer's family are all Australian citizens. His grandmother even worked for ASIO for 30 years.

But Adam faces another harrowing appeal before he will almost certainly have to place his future in the hands of the immigration minister.

The final decision could take up to 18 months.

It is strange indeed, considering his grandmother, when she worked for ASIO, was at Kirribilli House seeing 10 prime ministers come and go.

Adam's parents and 65 relatives are Australian citizens.

He had expected celebrate his citizenship on his birthday in June. But at the end of a gruelling five-year process, in which he had attempted several times to meet residency guidelines, the goalposts were shifted at the last moment.

Even the positive result he had hoped for from an

English exam that could have got him over the line fell a cruel two points short of the necessary qualifying total.

The five-year exercise in frustration has proved costly for his parents Paul and Sue who have funded numerous visa applications and then supported him through a TAFE trade course and while he worked for two years on bare minimum wages.

Adam's parents came to Australia in the 1950s as children of 10 pound Poms. Numerous relatives had also found their way to Australia. His father Paul was schooled here and went on to a job with the Bank of NSW which in 1977 transferred him to London, where Adam was born.

During their time in the UK the family made numerous trips to Australia to visit family. In 2006, on Paul's retirement the Grays gained residency and returned to Australia with Adam on October 29.

That was when what they thought would be a relatively straightforward process became impossibly difficult for their adult son.

Member for Fairfax Alex Somlyay has raised the matter in federal parliament but concedes that ultimately the matter lies in the hands of the minister.

"I know it is impossible to legislate to cover each anomaly,'' he told parliament. "But surely our immigration laws should give the minister discretion so that he or she can exercise common sense in cases like Adam's."

>> ADAM'STIME LINE

  • May 22, 1959: Adam's father migrates to Australia with his parents and brothers
  • Dec 16, 1977: Paul's job transfers him to London
  • June 8, 1979: Adam born in London
  • Oct, 2006: Paul, Sue and Adam return to Australia
  • June 24, 2011: Visa approved, but due to expire on Dec 24, 2012

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