102-year-old British grandmother emigrates to New Zealand

- Posted in New Zealand by Visa Bureauon 30 November 2011

Louise Sydes, 102, from Kent, made the decision to visit the country for the tenth time after her nursing home was closed due to budget cuts.

Ms. Sydes was originally denied a long-term New Zealand visa and was instead offered a visitor’s visa lasting six months, however her daughter, based in Auckland, approached New Zealand Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman directly, who asked for Ms. Sydes’ passport to be delivered. When it was returned, it was discovered a three-year visa was attached.

Ms. Sydes then gave away most of her possessions and was escorted to the other side of the world, with the airline upgrading her tickets to business class. She arrived with just a small suitcase, asking for “a decent cup of tea”.

Her British pension will continue to be paid, ensuring she is not a burden on the New Zealand taxpayer, and her family is reported to be looking forward to her 103rd birthday, due on Boxing Day. Ms Sydes is said to be looking forward to nature walks, dining on local lamb and experiencing summer over the festive period for the first time.


New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.