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Tribunal clears parents’ visa application

In a landmark decision, the Immigration and Protection Tribunal ordered last week that residence visas be granted to Sital Ram and Usha Rani, parents of their New Zealand citizen children, 11-year old Hemani and nine-year old twin brothers Gagan and Gaurav.

In its decision, the Tribunal was critical of Mr Ram and Ms Rana for exploiting New Zealand’s immigration processes.

Human grounds

However, the Tribunal considered that the negative factors weighing against the parents were outweighed by the strength of the exceptional humanitarian circumstances relating to the best interests of the children who have never lived in India; and that it would not in all the circumstances be contrary to the public interest to allow Mr Ram and Ms Rana to remain in New Zealand.

I am thrilled that the Tribunal has, in its decision, upheld and endorsed the concept that the rights and the humanitarian circumstances of New Zealand citizen children are the primary concern in these cases where one or both parents are over-stayers.

As a former Minister of Immigration I am mindful of the difficulty that such cases present for any Minister of Immigration. I am also mindful of the fact that many people will see it as unfair that Mr Ram and Ms Rana have been granted residence, when they have never had any right to be here in New Zealand.

Such angst is understandable. .

However, for me, this battle has never been about the parents.

Human rights

For me, it has always been about the citizenship rights of Hemani, Gagan and Gaurav and the fact that tens of thousands of our forebears, mine included, fought in two world wars to protect those citizenship rights.

On behalf of Hemani, Gagan and Gaurav, I thank the Tribunal for their decision. It is good see a happy family.

Tuariki Delamere is the Principal Consultant of TDA Immigration and Student Services Limited based in Auckland.

Our Staff Reporter adds:

The above case may fall under a different category but Immigration New Zealand had detailed its policy of issuing residence and other visas to foreigners in our Immigration Special (February 15, 2013). The following is a brief extract.

The Immigration Minister announced the closure of the Family Parent category on May 16, 2012, along with the Sibling/Adult Child categories of residence. New parent residence class visa category instructions were introduced on July 30, 2012. The new Parent Category replaced the Family Parent category and takes priority over existing applications lodged in the Family Parent category.

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