A 48-year-old lawyer claims to love his 103-year-old partner, despite critics doubting the authenticity of their love.
Mart Soeson, from Estonia, has been in a relationship with Elfriede Riit, 103, since 2013, and the couple lived together until he was forced to move to a nursing home in 2022.
Now, Soeson is pleading to stay in Australia to be with his older partner.
Mrs. Riit, who was also born in Estonia, is the widow of Mr. Soeson's grandfather. She was his second wife and will celebrate her 104th birthday later in February.
Despite Mrs. Riit being the widow of his grandfather, Mr. Soeson insists that he loves her.
The couple insists that their age gap of 55 years is irrelevant, and they should be allowed to continue their "unique and long-lasting" love for as long as Mrs. Riit has left to live.
"What began as a good relationship I had with my late grandfather's widow slowly but surely turned into a meaningful and loving relationship," Mr. Soeson told DailyMail in an exclusive interview.
Mr. Soeson is seeking permanent residency in Australia on the basis that Mrs. Riit is his partner, but his visa application has been denied.
He was not officially told why the visa application was rejected, but he believed that the Department of Home Affairs was skeptical about the legitimacy of his union with Mrs. Riit.
"Yes, I know we have an age gap," Mr. Soeson told Daily Mail Australia.
"And I know it's an issue for some people.
"But generally, the age gap is an issue for an elderly woman and a younger man. It's not an issue for a young man and an elderly woman, but I can't change that perspective."
Mr. Soeson has now taken his case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which he attended on Wednesday, January 31, with Mrs. Riit and three supporters for the matter to be heard.
The hearing did not proceed in the Sydney courtroom because Mrs. Riit, whom Mr. Soeson had assisted from the Maxi Cab to the wheelchair, was too distressed to participate in the case.