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Fijian Teenage Mother Allowed Residency Application As A Dependant

A teenage mother from Fiji whose partner reneged on marrying her has been allowed to file for New Zealand residency as a dependent with her father. 

Suman (name changed) lost her eligibility because as per immigration rules, mothers cannot apply as dependants in their father’s residency application.

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Suman moved to Aotearoa in 2020 on a student visa but found trouble securing admission as the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The Invercargill resident stays with her father, whose residency application is currently under review. 

During her stay, she met her partner, a New Zealand permanent resident who had been living here since 2003. After dating him for 14 months she found she was pregnant and delivered a baby boy in the beginning of 2022, the year in which her visa was to expire later in December.  

Auckland-based immigration adviser Shaneel Kumar of SNK Consultancy Ltd, who handled her application for a special waiver, says Suman was hoping to have her wedding registered before her visa expired. 

“Soon after moving in with her partner, she felt like her father was the only one trying to earn a living, while her partner was wasting away time with his friends,” Shaneel says.

“When she tried to apply for her son’s birth certificate, her partner refused to provide his details. Instead, he asked for a DNA test of the child. The results came in within a week but the man and his family have yet to supply details of the result to Suman.”

Suman’s application to the immigration minister read, “We would like to humbly request the Honourable Minister to consider waiving the requirement for [Suman] to ‘have no children of her own’ so that she can apply for residency as a dependent child.”

She also said her nine-month-old son, a natural-born New Zealand citizen, has yet to secure a passport because her partner hasn’t supplied the information needed for the document. 

While approving Suman’s request, the then associate minister of immigration observed, “I have also decided that if [Suman] is included in her father’s 2021 Resident Visa application as a dependent child, the requirement under instruction R2.1.30(a)(i) for her to have no children of her own will be waived.”

The minister added Suman must otherwise meet the definition of a dependent child under immigration instructions and all other requirements for secondary applicants, including health and character.

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