New Zealand Immigration Tribunal grants appeal for Tongan family to remain

    Tali ke nofo fonua ha fāmili Tonga ne nau 'ova 'i Nu'u Sila 'i ha mei ta'u 'e 12

    The Immigration and Protection Tribunal has granted an appeal to a Tongan family to stay in New Zealand.

    The family, which has only been identified as ‘BN’, consists of  a 34-year-old husband and a 31-year-old wife, who are citizens of Tonga.

    The appeals included their three children, two sons, aged five and three years, and a daughter, aged 18 months.

    The husband and wife were born in Tonga. The wife arrived in New Zealand in November 2006 when she was 19. Her visa expired the following month and she had been unlawfully in New Zealand since then.

    The husband arrived in New Zealand in October 2008 on a visitor visa, which was renewed until April 2009. He had been unlawfully in New Zealand since then. The couple married in 2010 and have three children together.

    The husband has been working illegally in New Zealand, most recently operating his own construction company which he incorporated in 2017.

    He has been supporting his immediate family in New Zealand and family members who live in Tonga through the income he receives from this business.

    The wife no longer has any immediate family members living in Tonga. She has extended family relatives living in New Zealand as permanent residents.

    The husband has one sister living in New Zealand as a permanent resident with her family.

    The Tribunal found that there were exceptional humanitarian circumstances, particularly their children’s best interests, that would make it unjust or unduly harsh for them to be deported from New Zealand.

    The Tribunal also found that it would not be contrary to the public interest to allow the family to remain in New Zealand.

    Allowing them to stay would promote family unity and enable the husband to lawfully contribute to the economy through the construction industry, in addition to the ability of the family to contribute to the community through their involvement in church and schools.

    The main points

    • The Immigration and Protection Tribunal has granted an appeal to a Tongan family to stay in New Zealand.
    • The family consists of a 34-year-old husband and a 31-year-old wife, who are citizens of Tonga and their three children.

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