A Tamil father has begged to get off Christmas Island as soon as possible but his lawyer says his family faces ongoing oppression even after they are reunited in Perth.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has decided to allow the Murugappan family to live in the community in Perth, after over three years in immigration detention including almost two on Christmas Island.
But he has warned there's no guaranteed pathway to a visa that would allow the family to permanently return to their home in the Queensland town of Biloela.
Nades Murugappan and his oldest daughter Kopika are waiting for a plane to fly them from Christmas Island to Perth to reunite with his wife Priya and their youngest child, Tharnicaa, who remains ill in hospital.
Immigration lawyer Carina Ford says the family have been warned they'll be subject to a long list of restrictions about what they can and cannot do while living in the community.
She told of Mr Murugappan's emotional response to the news his family will soon be reunited, albeit without the right to remain in Australia.
"Just get me out of here, I just want to get out of Christmas Island," he told Ms Ford during a two-hour call on Tuesday morning.
"That probably reflects, in some ways, today's result."
Ms Ford said the minister did not have to wait for ongoing legal cases to conclude to intervene and grant an exemption to allow the family to stay.
"The minister can use his power at any time," she told reporters in Melbourne.
Ms Ford said she'd sent medical records to Mr Hawke so he could see for himself that the family's detention had caused significant mental health issues.
She said the family was happy they would regain some sense of freedom, albeit at the continued expense of Australian taxpayers.
But they will have to live under onerous conditions and Kopika, who has been distressed at the separation of her family, must settle into a new school.
"There needs to be a shift in how the government looks at this case. I'm not so certain we are there yet," Ms Ford said.
"Which means does the fight go on? Well, it probably does."
Under the terms of community detention, the parents cannot work or even volunteer.
The family must live where the government tells them to, and cannot have overnight guests, or stay elsewhere overnight without permission.
They will also have to report regularly to authorities, but Ms Ford says it's not yet clear how often.
Aron MyIvaganam from the Tamil Refugee Council said the government's move was not one of compassion, but "an act of concession" stemming from public pressure.
"The government is basically sending this family from one detention to another detention," he said.
"This is not freedom. We will continue our fight until this family is fully freed. Their home is in Biloela."
A charter flight is on its way to the island to collect Nades and Kopika as Tharnicaa continues to recover in hospital from an infection she developed on Christmas Island.
Mr MyIvaganam said Tharnicaa was "really well" but facing long-term health issues beyond her battle with sepsis, including dental problems.
Having spoken to the relieved family, Mr MyIvaganam said they could still not understand why the government had opted to put them in community detention rather than sending them home to Biloela.
"They are concerned that they still face an uncertain future in future in this country," he said.
"They will continue this fight until they achieve complete freedom."
Australian Associated Press