Tribunal overturns Immigration ruling and grants visa on humanitarian grounds

    The New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal has ordered that a Tongan women be granted  a visa.

    The Tribunal allowed her appeal against a decision by Immigration New Zealand.

    The tribunal’s report on the case it said there were exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature which would make it unjust or unduly harsh for the appellant and her daughter if the appellant were to be deported from New Zealand.

    The woman came to New Zealand in 2005. Having been successful in the Pacific Access  Category ballot, she applied for a residence permit.   Her application was declined by   Immigration New Zealand the next year because the terms of her employment did not allow her to meet the minimum income requirement.

    The appellant appealed Immigration New Zealand’s decision and, in January 2007, the (then) Residence Review Board allowed her appeal on the  basis that she had a new offer of employment. However, this second offer was later retracted and consequently the appellant’s application was declined for a second time.

    The appellant’s lawful status in New Zealand had expired by February  2007. In September 2007,  she married a widowed  New Zealand  resident  with  six children.  A few days after their marriage, the couple’s daughter was born.

    The couple’s relationship began deteriorating shortly after. The appellant was unable to feed and clothe the children properly because her husband was spending his weekly wages on gambling. He became progressively more abusive and violent.

    In November 2008, her husband was charged with male assaults female, after punching the appellant, although the police later withdrew the charge at her insistence. Shortly after this, the appellant left her husband, taking her daughter with her. Their marriage was eventually dissolved in December 2013.

    In January 2011, the appellant began a relationship with a  Tongan-born New Zealand citizen and they stayed together until 2016. During this period, the appellant made five unsuccessful requests for visas under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009. Immigration New Zealand eventually granted her a year-long work visa pursuant to section 61 in February 2017.

    In early 2017, the appellant’s partner was diagnosed with cancer and decided to return to Tonga for traditional treatment. He remained there until his death in mid-2018.

    The woman cited the following points in support of her appeal;

    She had lived in New Zealand since 2005.

    She has had a difficult history in that she first experienced an abusive relationship and then her second partner died.

    She has an 11-year-old child who is a New Zealand citizen.

    The daughter’s school social worker said the appellant and her daughter did not have secure accommodation, which meant that they had to move around frequently.

    The appellant was unable to apply for Housing New Zealand or private rental accommodation because of her lack of residence status. The daughter was also concerned that her mother would be sent back to Tonga, “leaving her stranded” in New Zealand.

    The woman’s doctor said the woman had been diagnosed with diabetes in May 2018 and had been trying to control it with lifestyle changes.  She  had just been started on an oral medication. She had also been  found to have a heart murmur although she remained asymptomatic. She had been referred to a cardiologist but, due to financial constraints, was unable to attend the appointment.

    “The Tribunal reminds itself that the daughter, who would face possibly more severe consequences of adjustment to life in Tonga than her mother, bears absolutely no responsibility for their present predicament,” the report said.

    “In view of the likely negative impacts on the appellant and her daughter, the Tribunal finds that it would be unjust and unduly harsh for the appellant to be deported from New Zealand.”

    The main points

    • The New Zealand Immigration and protection Tribunal has ordered that a Tongan women be granted a visa.
    • The Tribunal allowed her appeal against a decision by Immigration New Zealand.
    • The tribunal’s report on the case it said there were exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature which would make it unjust or unduly harsh for the appellant and her daughter if the appellant were to be deported from New Zealand.

    1 COMMENT

    1. I am kamal pratap from fiji. Suffering due to negligence of visa officers or own discretion of visa officers which gives then rights to made decision of their choice. What is this? It pathetic to believe it? My wife , childrens and parents living in new zealand from past 2 years. My sons in this 2 years have been growing up without father. What a sin on innocents?

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here