INZ lapse keeps Indian couple away from their son

Venkat Raman 
venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

An Indian couple, who were refused Permanent Residence in New Zealand after being granted the status is accusing Immigration New Zealand (INZ) of ‘injustice,’ insensitiveness to their plight’ and ‘refusal to reconsider their case.’

Dr Ram Chander Dahiya (71) and his wife Savitri (70) have sent us lengthy documents in which they have said that the failure of INZ to issue appropriate letter that would have enabled the couple to comply with the requirement and acquire Permanent Residence (PR), which they say was issued in the first instance.

The Immigration & Protection Tribunal (IPT) ‘regretted that INZ did not advise Dr Dahiya and his wife properly’ but said that it had no statutory position requiring Immigration New Zealand to provide visa holders with separate advice regarding the nature of their visas and the terms and conditions upon which they have been issued.

To make matters worse for the couple, the High Court dismissed their petition, and ordered them to pay $6738.50 towards legal costs.

There is no end to this case as Dr Dahiya has alleged that he has not yet received the documents he had sought from INZ and IPT, and the Audio-Video recording from the High Court of Auckland.

For Dr Dahiya and Savitri, their tragic drama started in 2010 when INZ granted them Resident Visas (RVs) along with the explanatory letter (Visa Approval Letter), explaining the conditions under which it was issued.

“We spent 184 days two times in two consecutive years during 2010-2012 to become eligible for our Permanent Resident Visas (PRVs). Thereafter, we applied for our PRVs but were instead granted Subsequent / Second Resident Visas (SRVs) in 2012. Strangely, no statutorily required explanatory letter (Visa Approval Letter) was issued to us. We believed these to be PRVs and accepted in good faith and simplicity,” Dr Dahiya said.

Upon the expiry of his passport in 2015, Dr Dahiya applied for visa transfer to his new passport but INZ Delhi advised him that his PRV (and that of Savitri) had expired. On official advise, they filled another form and INZ cancelled their application for SRVs.

“The reason was that INZ counted the 184 days backwards as per their calculations and alleged that we fell short of the requirement in the second year.”

Dr Dahiya said that it was the fault of INZ, since it did not issue statutorily required explanatory letter (Visa Approval Letter) in 2012, although he and his wife had fulfilled the requirement of spending more than 184 days two times in two consecutive years during 2010-2012, thus qualifying for PR.

“Now, the core issue is that had we been issued the Visa Approval Letter as per our statutory right in 2012, since we had fulfilled the conditions. This would be irrespective of what might have happened as we did in 2010 when we were granted the Resident Visas for the first time,” he said.

Dr Dahiya has approached the Human Rights Commission and various other agencies for justice, apart from appealing to INZ to reconsider its decision to revoke their PR status for ‘some mistake an official has committed.’

“We want to live with our son in New Zealand and we have been deprived of this, even though we fulfilled all the conditions of INZ,” Dr Dahiya said.

Indian Newslink did not contact INZ since the department does not respond to media queries on individual cases.

A detailed report titled, ‘Elderly couple accuse Immigration New Zealand of ineptitude’ appears under Homelink.

Photo: Dr R C Dahiya with his wife Savitri at Auckland International Airport

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