(CNN) -- Australia's immigration minister has granted permanent residency to a German family whose application was twice denied because their 13-year-old son's Down syndrome was deemed a drain on the country's health system.
The case provoked widespread public outrage, putting pressure on Immigration Minister Chris Evans to intervene.
On Wednesday, Evans ruled that the Moeller family was making a "valuable contribution" to their local community and that they would be allowed to stay on in Australia once their temporary visa expires in March 2010.
Bernhard Moeller, a doctor, moved his family to Horsham in western Victoria two years ago to fill a doctor shortage. He is the only internal medicine specialist serving 20,000 people in the area.
"Dr. Moeller is providing a much needed service in the area, the family have integrated very well and they have substantial community support," Evans told the Senate on Wednesday.
Moeller told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a CNN affiliate, that waiting for the news has been stressful.
"But now I am really happy," he said. "We've been jumping for joy."
The family's application was first denied by the Immigration Department which cited the cost to the government in caring for Moeller's son, Luke.
On Tuesday, the Migration Review Tribunal upheld the department's decision -- prompting Evans to intervene.
Down syndrome, a genetic defect, causes intellectual disabilities and other difficulties. But whereas the average life expectancy for a person with Down syndrome was 9 years in the 1920s, today he or she can live up to 60 years.
Children with the condition are integrated into the schooling system, and adults are able to live by themselves.
"It has been really stressful, especially not knowing what will happen; what our future will look like," Moeller told ABC. "I was very tired yesterday when I got this news about the refusal from the tribunal and I was thinking, 'Is it really worthwhile?'"
Moeller said Lukas was aware of the setbacks but did not understand the full impact of it.
"We kept the bad things away from him," he said. "He was confident that his dad will fix it for him."
Evans, the immigration minister, told the Senate that he has contacted regional leaders to encourage them to support a regulation change that will allow the government to waive the health requirements of permanent visa applicants in certain situations.
"It has to be set up more flexible," he said. "Because I don't want more people to have such an experience like I had."
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