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Letter to the Editor: A problem with visas

I write to you as a New Zealand Citizen who lived here for the past 20 years of my life after migrating from Egypt.

God has blessed me with a partner with whom I was due to start my life with. As she is in Egypt, we went through the long process of getting her a visitor visa based on her partnership with a citizen. This visa was granted in March and we were set for our new life in Auckland in April (after a planning a beautiful wedding in Egypt with family and friends). However, COVID happened and it derailed our plans and crushed our hearts. However, we didn’t give up and tried to apply for exemption so she can come when flights resumed (since she had to enter NZ early June). However, that was denied. We then tried to get an extension to her entry date. However, it was again denied! When we asked as to the reason why it was denied, they said we don’t have to give a justification. The only choice left was to re-apply for a visa, which we did. However, to our surprise it was sent to the overseas offices not the NZ offices!

In a recent article by NZ Herald dated 30 July it stated that “nearly 10,000 people were granted applications to move here from across the globe in the past two month”.

If it is possible to grant visas, why is my application being ignored or sent to offshore offices? I tried to contact Immigration NZ but no answer, I tried to contact several Labour MPs to help still nothing, when I contacted my local National MP, she was the one who answered and talked to me. She mentioned that NZ doesn’t view her as a partner as we haven’t been living together for a year, despite we have been together for 3 years and our cultural and religion (being Orthodox and Catholic Christians) we can’t live together outside the boundaries of marriage. While I didn’t like the answer I got, I appreciated the National Party having MPs that actually care about their communities.

As a NZ Citizen, who went to schools in NZ, studied in NZ, working in NZ with an engineering firm who is doing very well after Covid and needs all it members at full capacity, I am disappointed in our Government. They have let us down, the system in place have let us down, they have rules that bends to those who have loud voices and would affect their political agendas. They are meant to help us but yet all what we are getting is stress, uncertainty and no response. We are a team of 5 million in front of the media, outside, they don’t really care.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that these are tough and harsh times for all, and by no means am I asking for special consideration. However, I am asking why after being granted a visa based on a partnership (which is a clear acknowledgment of the partnership) my fiancé can’t come, why she wasn’t granted extension to her entry date? why she was not granted an exemption? Why did she need to reapply for the visa? why is it sent to an offshore offices? Many unanswered queries and no one is giving an answer or trying to help.

All of this took its tool on us mentally, emotionally and financially. I haven’t seen my partner in nearly a year and by the looks of it, this is not likely to change anytime soon. I lost all faith in the current Labour government with all its members. Maybe it is time for a change to a government that actually listen and MPs who actually care for their local communities?

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