24 April 2009

Famous author finding emigrating to New Zealand difficult

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Marina Lewycka, an international best-selling author of two books has found emigrating to New Zealand more difficult than anticipated, reports Stuff.co.nz.

While the writer has been living periodically with her husband of 22 years in New Zealand for the last five years, she has still had to jump through hoops for her applications for emigrating to New Zealand.

The requirements of her New Zealand visa application mean that the couple need to prove their relationship with each other, despite the fact that they have been married for over two decades.  The Immigration Service needed copies of correspondence between the pair and evidence that they lived together for an unspecified time in New Zealand.

As Mrs Lewycka spends her summers in Wanganui, New Zealand, writing and the rest of the time abroad to promote her books, it has proven difficult to fulfil this part of the New Zealand visa application.

However, the Dominion Post claims that the Immigration Service has now reassured the couple now that they would only need to provide email correspondence to prove their relationship.  

Dave Feickert, Mrs Lewycka's wife, said that the whole process has left him perplexed.

"To me it's just completely absurd. I know they have rules they have to follow ... but why go through all the rigmarole of rejecting someone like Marina?"

"She loves New Zealand and it's as simple as that."

The Government provide a New Zealand Partner and Unmarried Partner Visa for all people who are in a recognisable relationship with a New Zealand resident or citizen.  Typical regulations require both people to have lived with each other for 12 months or more in a genuine and stable partnership.  For the purposes of the visa, 'partnership' has been defined as a legally binding marriage, a civil union and a de facto relationship (the latter two can be same sex couples).

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to New Zealand.

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