UPDATE: Since the Indian Weekender's first reporting of this story, Immigration NZ has approved exception request for one of the family member to bring their toddler back into the country.
A desperate Kiwi mum is pleading Immigration New Zealand to show compassion and grant a visitor visa on humanitarian grounds to one of her family members to bring their toddler back home from overseas.
However, she is clueless about how to put forward a request in a manner that is not lost in the "faceless system", which has seemingly become Immigration NZ's new-normal way of operation.
"It's very difficult to get your point across the Immigration system." said mum Veena Chaudhury who has lived in the country for more than seven years and is married to an NZ citizen.
"All I am asking is Immigration NZ to allow a temporary visa for one of my family members so that they can bring my child who is an NZ citizen and obviously cannot travel by himself," Veena said exasperatingly.
"So far we have got my brother - who was on a student visa and was temporarily visiting family before applying for his post-study work visa - to apply for an exception to enter NZ, which has been declined three times," Veena said.
"However, it is not our intention to bend the rules unnecessarily for getting my brother back into the country," Veena said.
"I am completely fine if INZ allows my parents instead to travel on a visitor visa on humanitarian grounds and bring my child back and leave the country as and when feasible,"
"But I am clueless on how to navigate with the Immigration system which has become more faceless and unresponsive after Covid-19 related border closure," Veena said.
The family of four - (Veena Choudhary – NZ permanent Resident), father (Bharat Choudhary – NZ Citizen), Daughter (Myraah Choudhary, 4 years old – NZ Citizen), Son (Miraan Choudhary, 17 months – NZ Citizen) has been left separated with the sudden border closures in March this year to prevent the spread of deadly coronavirus.
Miraan Choudhary (Photo Supplied)
Currently, NZ borders are closed for everyone except citizens and residents and exceptions allowed under extremely limited and special circumstances.
For an exception under humanitarian the INZ website says, an immigration officer may make a humanitarian exception to the travel ban in extremely limited cases taking into account the following factors:
connection to New Zealand, the applicant's primary place of residence and their current location
how long they have been away from New Zealand
other options available to the applicant
the impact of not giving an exception
Veena had taken a seemingly innocuous, but completely normal, decision in a pre-Covid-19 world, of sending her toddler overseas along with her mum, to avoid the need of sending him to a daycare facility just for two weeks, with plans to join them in a couple of weeks and bring him back.
"I was lucky enough to have my mum beside me to help me through post-birth care of my second child, which allowed me to return to work without the usual anxiety of leaving him at a daycare facility," Veena said.
Veena and Bharat Chaudhary's children Myraah and Miraan Choudhary (Photo: Supplied)
"It was only the timing of my mum's scheduled to return to India (February 23) after completing her normal stay as per her visa, and our scheduled visit in mid March for my brother's wedding that had left us confused, about the need for arranging for care for my second child," Veena said.
"We thought that sending our child to a new daycare facility for just two weeks before having to stop again for our planned overseas travel would be an unnecessary hassle for us and the child, and we decided to send him instead with his grandma who was anyway looking after him for the last many months."
"We had a plan in place to travel back to India in mid-march for a wedding and bring our child back before borders were closed," Veena said.
"Now we are left in the middle of nowhere with our child stranded overseas," Veena said.
An enquiry has been sent to the office of the Immigration New Zealand at the time of the publication of this story, and a response is awaited.
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