1 Dec 2011

Husband granted residency, but not his wife

7:58 pm on 1 December 2011

An Indian couple married for 60 years may be forced to separate because the woman cannot meet the health criteria for a New Zealand residency visa.

Vandravandas Shah and his wife Taraben moved to New Zealand four years ago to live with their son in Auckland.

Immigration New Zealand has granted Mr Shah residency but did not grant Mrs Shah a medical waiver, which she needs in order to apply for the visa.

The couple's son, Mukesh Shah, says his mother will not cope in India alone and his family might all have to move back to help her.

The Shah's immigration advisor, Tika Ram, has written to the Ombudsman to appeal against the decision about the medical waiver and he says he will also write to the Minister of Immigration.

He says Mrs Shah - who has osteoarthritis of the knee and hearing and vision problems - is not that impaired by her health problems and Immigration New Zealand should take the family situation into account.

He says the son and his wife are working and paying tax, as are all the grandchildren.

An Immigration New Zealand spokesperson says Mrs Shah can re-apply for residency, and if it is declined, she could appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.