02 December 2011

New Zealand visa reunites family with mother after a year in hiding

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Immigration New Zealand have offered a nine-month New Zealand visa with work entitlement and an invitation to apply for a residence visa to an individual who has been in hiding for a year to avoid deportation to Tuvala.

New Zealand visa

A mother has been granted a New Zealand visa to reunited with her family after a year in hiding.

Although New Zealand immigration staff had initially refused to consider the case, assistance was given to Fefiloi Ana by Porirua city councillor Lita Ah Hoi. She helped Ana, 37,  remain in the country with her children, who were born in New Zealand and are consequently citizens. Speaking on the situation, Ah Hoi said: “I couldn't be more elated and just so happy for those kids that the outcome is in our favour.”

Immigration staff have invited Ana to pay the $300 New Zealand visa fee and have given her until 16 December to do so.

Ana was faced with the prospect of deportation to Tuvalu where she said she faced poverty and the effects of climate change, as seawater continues to engulf the sinking main island of Funafuti. The area is also suffering from drought and overcrowding.  Ana was unable to attend her mother’s funeral this February and the children had to leave their New Zealand schools to prevent immigration staff tracing the whereabouts of their mother.

The father of Ana’s three children died in a motorcycle accident in 2004, meaning she would have had to leave them with New Zealand authorities to ensure they received an education and adequate healthcare, or face taking them back with her to Tuvalu.

Reacting to the news, Ana said: “I was just crying and crying and thanking my lawyer for helping me. I also thanked God for helping me during this time.”

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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