The New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal has granted a Tongan man and his son resident visas on humanitarian grounds.
The Tribunal ruled that Peniola ‘Ahofono and his son had exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature that would make it unjust or unduly harsh for them to be deported from New Zealand.
‘Ahofono’s wife and adult daughter are New Zealand residents.
The wife has chronic kidney disease and requires dialysis.
The Tribunal said the primary issue of the appeal was whether the separation of family members and the loss of ‘Ahofono’s financial and emotional support for his wife gave rise to exceptional humanitarian circumstances.
‘Ahofono arrived in New Zealand in February 2008 and was joined by his wife and children in March 2009.
For the past decade he worked as a baker for a company that manufactures pies and held a series of Essential Skills work visas.
His wife held a series of work visas until December 2013. Thereafter, she was unable to obtain further temporary visas because she did not have an acceptable standard of health, due to her chronic kidney disease. She became unlawfully in New Zealand after the expiry of her interim visa in October 2014.
The appellant’s daughter held various student and visitor visas as the dependent of a worker and then, between November 2014 and February 2017, she held Essential Skills work visas. The appellant’s son has held a series of student visas as the dependent of a worker.
In January 2017, the wife was granted a one-day visitor visa to enable her to lodge a humanitarian appeal. The daughter, having become unlawfully resident after her work visa expired in February 2017, also lodged a humanitarian appeal.
The appeals were based on the need for the wife to remain in New Zealand as she had been receiving dialysis for four years and such treatment was not available in Tonga. The Tribunal allowed the appeals and directed that the wife and daughter be granted resident visas.
On 22 June 2017, Immigration New Zealand granted ‘Ahofono a one- year Essential Skills work visa as an exception to instructions to enable him to apply for residence under the Family (Partnership) category. The son was granted a one-year student visa.
The Tribunal said the wife had end-stage renal failure secondary to diabetic nephropathy. She receives dialysis at a community dialysis centre, three times a week.
The wife depends on the appellant for financial support. The Tribunal accepted that he was the mainstay of the family and that if he had to leave New Zealand, the wife and daughter would struggle.
The wife would also be deprived of critical emotional and practical support. As her health is extremely precarious, the loss of such support and any significant worry and stress will jeopardize her well-being.
The Tribunal said the best interests of the son lay in his family remaining united and stable.
The main points
- The New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal has granted a Tongan man and his son resident visas on humanitarian grounds.
- The Tribunal ruled that Peniola ‘Ahofono and his son had exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature that would make it unjust or unduly harsh for them to be deported from New Zealand.