A Maltese who has lived in Australia since he was three years old, is set to be deported to Malta after losing his visa on the back of a drug conviction.

John Falzon, 61, has served an eight-year prison sentence, but it set to be evicted from Australia on character grounds. An Appeals Court has confirmed the decision and refused to reinstate his visa, Australian media reported.   

Mr Falzon never gained Australian citizenship. His visa was cancelled at the end of his prison term. He also had convictions for previous drug and other crimes and is currently being held on Christmas Island.

His family has run social media campaigns, saying deportation would be an unbearably cruel act for a man who knows no one in Malta, and who would be forced to abandon a large and loving family in Australia, Australian media reported. 

Mr Falzon argued in court that he had served his time for his crime and ejecting him from Australia was an attempt to punish him further.

But the court said the immigration minister was right to cancel a visa held by a person if he failed the character test because of a substantial criminal record. 

Mr Falzon's family in Australia includes two sisters, four brothers, four adult children and 10 grandchildren. 

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