The spokesman of a local support group says: "These people have never applied for unemployment benefit or social services' support and are no burden on the treasury and they are well integrated."
A mother, a father and two children face expulsion. The woman arrived in Belgium in 2004 with the intention of marrying a Belgian man. The marriage only lasted for three years and in 2011 a court in Antwerp ruled that it was a bogus marriage and should be annulled. As a result the woman lost her right to stay in the country.
The woman had meanwhile married a Chinese national who was staying in the country illegally. He applied for regularisation of his situation in 2011.
At the beginning of 2013 the Immigration Department decided that the family should leave the country. The family reapplied for residence papers and the Belgian press agency Belga reports that they received a positive response from the local authorities. The Immigration Department had the couple detained at the beginning of May and they were taken to a transit house ahead of their removal.
Their lawyer now wants their removal suspended until there is a ruling on their appeal against the cancellation of their new residence permit. He has lodged an appeal with the Council for Disputes for Foreigners.
A local action group has also been set up to support the family. Hans Van Gool: "These people have never applied for unemployment benefit or social services' support. They have always paid their taxes. They are no burden on the treasury and they are well integrated. Their three year old daughter goes to the local school."
Representatives of the Chinese embassy have visited the couple and plan to ask the Belgian Asylum Secretary to revoke the expulsion order.
The family expects to hear their fate on Monday.
[Flandersnews.be / Expatica]
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