15 Dec 2012

Six month reprieve still leaves family "in limbo"

8:55 pm on 15 December 2012

A British family facing deportation because the father is unable to work since developing a brain tumour, says a six-month reprieve by the Immigration Department still leaves them in limbo.

Paul Crystal, his wife and their three children moved to New Zealand more than six years ago, started two businesses, and were close to getting permanent residency when Mr Crystal became ill.

He had an operation to remove the tumour, but there were side effects and he is unable to work, and the Immigration Department moved to deport the family.

The department on Friday granted new six month visas, saying it was aware Mr Crystal has appealed against the deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

Sarah Crystal says the family learned only on Saturday morning about the visas but says they may still be in the same position in six months time, unable to stay but with nowhere to go.

"I guess other people should be aware that there is this hole that you can fall through. Until you get all your residency and things sorted out, there's no safety net."

In a statement, the department said the visas will give the family time to allow them to consider their options for the future.