Immigration minister 'looking into' push to grant Hobart international student Devarshi Deka residency after alleged assault left him paraplegic

immigration minister 'looking into' push to grant hobart international student devarshi deka residency after alleged assault left him paraplegic

Dev's family say if he has to return to India, he won't be able to access the care he needs. (ABC News: Luke Bowden)

The federal immigration minister says he has "sought a briefing" on visa options for an Indian student who was left paraplegic following an alleged assault on Hobart's waterfront last year.

Devarshi Deka, who is known as Dev, arrived in Hobart last year to study at the University of Tasmania (UTAS).

But an alleged assault on Hobart's waterfront in November left him paraplegic and slowly going blind in his left eye.

He received lifesaving treatment in the Royal Hobart Hospital and is now being cared for in the city's repatriation centre.

His family and friends worry about what will happen next, with his insurance company only supporting his treatment while he makes "medical progress", and then his flight home.

As an international student, Dev does not have access to Centrelink or the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and his family worries he will not be able to get the constant care he needs back in India.

A campaign for Dev to be granted permanent residency in Australia has been underway for a number of months, including through a petition tabled in parliament last week that urged Premier Jeremy Rockliff to make the case for residency to the federal minister.

The petition was signed by more than 6,400 people, with Mr Rockliff promising to "make a representation to Canberra".

Speaking at an event in Greater Hobart on Sunday, Federal Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said he was "looking into" the situation.

"What I can say to everyone in the Tasmanian community is that I've sought a briefing on visa options for Dev and I'm looking into it," Mr Giles said.

"As you'd probably appreciate, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment until I've had an opportunity to consider that and make a decision, but it is a matter of great concern to me."

He said he had had many people reaching out to him about the issue, and described it as "an awful set of circumstances".

"Again, I should restate that I'm not going to comment on the decision … but I have really been struck by the depth of fellow feeling from the Tasmanian community."

Mr Giles said he had not had any communication with Dev's family, and that he would make a decision "as soon as [he could]".

If Dev is not granted permanent residency, he will have to return to India before his student visa expires.

Benjamin Dodge Collings, 24, of Lenah Valley in Hobart has been charged over the alleged waterfront assault.

He will face court again for a directions hearing in Hobart today.

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