A Kiwi-Indian chef who has been in New Zealand for more than a decade, on essential skill work-visa has been rendered homeless just when the country entered into level-4 complete lockdown as his passport was with Immigration New Zealand for a change of Visa label request.
More and more cases are emerging, especially within the migrant communities, who are falling under the cracks and being left behind - a bit insensitively - as the country has hunkered down in complete lockdown from Wednesday, March 26, 11.59 pm.
Paras Gupta, a sous chef, who first arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and since then has been working in different restaurant/food industry, such as Wellington's Hilton hotel and B- Lounge and Shamiana Indian-food chain has been rendered homeless since Wednesday, March 26, in Auckland CBD as all backpackers and hostels he approached for a paid accommodation denied entry to him without his official passport.
Unfortunately, Paras had submitted his original passport with Immigration New Zealand for a change of employer request on his visa label.
Since then Paras had emailed a request to INZ urgently requesting his passport so as to be able to get an accommodation place before the start of level-4 lockdown.
He was assured that he would be able to get his passport in 2 working days at the St Luke's mall-based Shamiana restaurant.
However, unfortunately, he could not receive his passport before the start of the lockdown period.
Paras has been working as a chef in a Wellington-based restaurant B-Lounge before he got a new job in a famous Indian food restaurant chain in an upcoming mall in Auckland CBD.
Excited about the new work opportunity, Paras made a move from Wellington and rightly applied for a change of Visa label with INZ and was supposed to start his new job on March 29.
He stayed with his friend in Auckland for a few days and left their home for finding an appropriate place for self-isolation when the country was getting ready for the four-week lockdown.
However, to his surprise and dismay, many popular backpackers and hostels in Auckland CBD refused to give him any accommodation in the absence of original passport.
Paras, tried to show him the scanned copies of his passport, the receipt of his Visa application with INZ, to get through, however, did not have much luck, and had been compelled since last three nights to live as a homeless in Auckland CBD.
He also approached the local Police station with a request for issuing any temporary ID to help him through this extremely difficult and uncertain period. However, he was politely declined with any meaningful help.
Paras also told the Indian Weekender that he approached few places housing homeless in Auckland CBD, which also failed to accommodate him sighting lack of any clear directive after Covid-19 emergency.
Since then Paras has been staying on the road in Auckland CBD.
In the absence of any clarity from the government on how to help such temporary workers, who have been diligently working and contributing to NZ economy for years, and in some cases decade, and are being conveniently left behind any compassionate support, more and more cases are emerging.
The Indian Weekender is trying to get in touch with concerned authorities in the government to see if there is any nodal agency to help people in such dire needs.
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