Immigration New Zealand has acknowledged an error in the date mentioned on a visa-decline letter to an applicant that raised concerns of alleged bias in the assessment of the application.

INZ was responding to a query raised by The Indian Weekender on a story of an NZ worker whose wife’s visa was declined with a back-date, raising concerns of the possibility of premeditated decision-making to even racial bias.  

Janine Parsons, Head of Operations – Hamilton told the Indian Weekender, “INZ does acknowledge the date on letter declining the application was wrong. It should have read July 5.”

Rasel Hossain who was in the country since the last three-and-a-half years and was on an open work visa had filed a partnership-based visitor visa application for his newlywed wife in November last year. 

The application was initially submitted in INZ’s Mumbai office was recently transferred to Hamilton office where it was subsequently rejected. 

Inderjit Matharu of Angel Immigration told The Indian Weekender, “The INZ case officer had sent a letter to my client on June 26 asking for additional supporting documents for his wife’s partnership-based visitor visa,” Ms Matharu said. 

“We had provided all documents by July 3 and were waiting eagerly for a favourable outcome.

“To my client’s frustration, the visa application was declined with INZ uploading a decline-letter online on July 5.

“However, it was baffling to see that the decline letter had a date written of June 26 – the date when the case officer had first asked for additional information from my client.

“This clearly suggests that they had already made up their mind to decline the application, regardless of seeing any fresh information,” Ms Matharu said.

Rejecting those suggestions Janine Parsons said, “A thorough check of our records confirms the decision to decline the application was made on the 5th of July. The letter to the client should have reflected that.”