Horsham grain researcher Arun Shunmugan hasn't seen his wife and son - who are in India - for five months due to Australia's COVID-19 border restrictions.
The Horsham family, who are temporary visa holders in Australia, traveled to India in January for a family wedding.
Dr Shunmugan returned early due to work commitments, while his wife Udhaya Kannan and son Aadav Arun remained in India to spend more time with the family.
They were scheduled to leave India on March 19, the day Australia imposed restrictions on international travel.
"My wife and two-year-old son have temporary visas, but with this type of visa you can't come into Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions," Dr Shunmugan said.
"Only permanent residents and Australian citizens are allowed to enter.
"My wife and son are stuck in India now."
The Indian government is currently offering repatriation flights to citizens stranded in Australia and therefore empty planes are travelling from India to Australia.
"Since we are not permanent residents the Australian Border Force are not letting my family take those flights either," Dr Shunmugan said.
"We applied to the Australian Border Force twice and have been rejected both times."
He said the ordeal has been extremely difficult because his family was separated last year due to pending visa applications.
"We lived in Canada for almost 10 years ... when we moved to Australia I had to wait almost a year for my wife and son's visa to be approved," he said.
"I arrived to Australia in August 2018 and they joined me in July 2019.
"I have spent only four months with my two-year-old son ... it is hard."
Dr Shunmugan said he knows people whose visa status will expire soon and they could be forced to leave Australia.
"Fortunately I have two years left on my visa but there are many people whose visa will be expiring in the next couple of months," he said.
"There is no clear picture about what is going to happen and if their visa will be extended."
Dr Shunmugan said he would pay for his family's quarantine expenses and follow all safety measures.
"I would like to see the government allow temporary residents into the country ... many of my co-workers are in a similar situation," he said.
"We already have our visas, the government just has to let us in.
"This uncertainty is what's driving us crazy, it would be amazing if they let my family in."
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