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Chinese mother granted exemption to Australia's coronavirus travel ban to visit dying son

A Chinese mother desperate to see her son in a Melbourne hospital is now able to travel to Australia, after confirmation her visa application has been granted by Australia's Border Force Commissioner.

Li Changxiang, 22, was in a road crash in late January in Victoria and was declared brain-dead on Monday in Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Mr Li was in Australia on a working holiday visa.

Since the accident, his mother Xinglan Ren has been trying to get a fast-tracked visa to see her only son in Melbourne, before the hospital turned off his life support machine.

But the Federal Government's ban on Chinese arrivals due to coronavirus kicked in shortly after she applied, and she was stuck in China.

Speaking with Virginia Trioli on ABC Radio Melbourne Mornings, Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said his heart went out to Mr Li's family and friends.

"I've been advised the Australian Border Force Commissioner is actually examining this case this morning," he said.

"Our Cabinet has given him the discretion to take decisions such as these when … overwhelming compassion and consideration needs to be brought to bear, while at the same time not putting the Australian public at risk.

"The ban is in place for a reason, [but] having said that we want to exercise whatever compassionate consideration that we can in order to enable her to get here as quickly as possible without putting the Australian public at risk from the coronavirus."

Mr Li's mother is not in the main coronavirus affected province of Wuhan.

Several hours later, Mr Tudge's office confirmed Xinglan Ren has been granted a tourist visa.

"She will be coming to Australia. Typically we ask people to quarantine themselves for 14 days after arriving in Australia," Mr Tudge said.

"In this instance, we're going to work very closely with her to ensure that she can nevertheless see her son and take care of the funeral arrangements."

'Her decision is to donate her son's organs'

Angus Yuan, a friend of Mr Li's in Melbourne, fought back tears as he confirmed Mr Li's organs would be donated.

"The hospital [asked Mr Li's mother] if [she] would like to donate her son's organs, and his mother make a very, very difficult decision, because you know in China, when people pass away they would keep their body," he told Trioli on ABC Radio Melbourne.

"Her decision is to donate her son's organs to save more people."

Mr Yuan has been visiting Mr Li in hospital and said a decision had been made to delay the operation to remove his organs until Xinglan Ren has seen her son.

Mr Yuan said many people had been advocating for Xinglan Ren to come to Australia.

"I want the Government to give his mother hope to see her son for the last time," Mr Yuan said earlier on Friday.

"His mother has asked [for the life support machine to be kept on until she arrived] but her son has died but … she only wants to see his body."

Royal Melbourne Hospital said Mr Li remained in a critical condition.

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