Immigration New Zealand has approved exception requests for border entry on humanitarian grounds that can finally unite a Kiwi-family with their 17 months old toddler who has been separated for the last five months after being stranded overseas due to sudden border closures. 

The Indian Weekender had reported on Thursday the plight of Kiwi mum and dad, Veena and Bharat Chaudhury, who were clueless on how best to put their request across the INZ to allow one of their family members to allow to travel to NZ on a temporary visa and bring their child back home. 

Following the story, the Indian Weekender had also sent an enquiry to the office of the Immigration New Zealand on the outcome of the third exception request that the hapless parents had so far submitted with them. 

Responding to the enquiry Jeannie Melville , Acting General Manager Border and Visa Operations confirmed that their exception request was now approved. 

“INZ can confirm that Chetan Patel has made several requests for an exception to the border restriction on humanitarian grounds. His request from 27 July was assessed by immigration officers and was accepted. Mr Patel will be invited to apply for a visa to travel to New Zealand,” Jeannine Melville said. 

Chetan Patel is Veena Chaudhury's (mum) brother who was earlier living in New Zealand along with the family on a student visa, before travelling overseas along with the baby for a planned family get together. 

The story of Chaudhury family, as the Indian Weekender had earlier reported, was akin to any other migrant families who were in the middle of normal travels, mostly for family visits, before their lives were turned upside down because of sudden border closures and global travel restrictions. (Read full story here). 

Expressing her delight with this favourable outcome Veena said, “We are immensely relieved with thankful for all your help.”

Revealing more about the approved exception process and the further guidelines issued to her brother before visiting NZ on a temporary visa Veena said, “We have been invited to apply for his visa within a month.”

“Once a temporary visa is approved Immigration NZ expects my brother to travel to NZ within next four months,” Veena said. 

Information on border exceptions

There are a limited number of exceptions for other travellers who should seek approval from Immigration New Zealand before travelling. This includes partners, dependent children and legal guardians of New Zealand citizens and residents, and Australian citizens and permanent resident who normally live in New Zealand.

Exceptions may also be granted where people have a critical purpose for travel to New Zealand, including:

  • Critical health workers

  • Other critical workers who are specifically agreed to by the New Zealand Government

  • Samoan and Tongan citizens making essential travel

  • New Zealand-based partners and dependent children of a work or student visa holder who is in New Zealand

  • Critical humanitarian reasons

More information on the border exceptions process can be found on the INZ website.