Ship jumper gains his visa
FORMER asylum seeker Jonah, who jumped off a coal carrier ship at Hay Point in December, has been approved for a visa.
Jonah as he's known, wanted to escape the terrors of his home country so he swam for an hour to reach the shore, the Daily Mercury reported in January.
A spokesman for Jonah said he'd received the visa, officially recognising him as a genuine refugee.
"Jonah attended a gruelling five-hour interview with a Department of Immigration and Citizenship officer in April," the representative said.
"His visa was granted in May and he was officially informed last week."
Jonah was grateful for everyone who had helped him, the representative said.
"I thank God for all these people and look forward to my new life in Australia," Jonah told his representative.
Jonah's real name and place of origin still can't be revealed, the spokesman said.
"Due to the sensitive circumstances surrounding this matter and concern for the safety of his family, Jonah does not wish at this stage to publicly disclose his name or country of origin," he said.
"Nor on advice from his migration lawyer, will he be providing any interviews at this time."
Members of the Mackay community members helped in many ways - providing accommodation, employment and English lessons, the spokesman said.
"He now hopes his family can join him in Mackay," he said.