Australia: No residency for boy with Down syndrome

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- A German doctor who moved to Australia two years ago to help ease a shortage of doctors in a rural area is now being denied permanent residency there.

It's because his son has Down syndrome.

The doctor says he's going to fight the decision from Australia's immigration department. Officials said his 13-year-old son "did not meet the health requirement." And they concluded that his condition would likely "result in a significant and ongoing cost to the Australian community."

Bernhard Moeller still has a temporary work visa that's valid until 2010.

He says he and his family would like to live in Australia. He says they've been "welcomed by the community," and that they don't want to leave simply because the government doesn't welcome his son.

Australia's health minister says she'll speak to the immigration minister about the case.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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