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For almost five years, Satinder’s life has been on hold. In 2007, she met Indian national Sumit, who was studying in Australia. They married in 2015 with plans to settle here and start a family but after Sumit overstayed his visa, he returned to India.

So when Satinder was approached by the makers of SBS’s new documentary series Who Gets to Stay in Australia?, she was eager to be involved. “I was in a really tough place,” says the Melbourne woman, who requested her surname be withheld. “I was looking for any help I could get.”

Satinder appears in the new SBS documentary series Who Wants to Stay in Australia?

Satinder appears in the new SBS documentary series Who Wants to Stay in Australia?Credit:Scott McNaughton

Satinder and Sumit had been living on different continents for three-and-a-half years when producers began filming in early 2019. Despite being legally wed – and with records of daily video calls, SMS exchanges and social media messages – Australian authorities doubted the veracity of their relationship, dispatching immigration officers to interview Sumit’s friends and family in India.

Satinder’s case is one of 13 featured in the four-part series, including a Peruvian man desperate to continue his HIV treatment in Australia and an Irish boy whose cystic fibrosis treatment has been deemed too costly for our public health system.