By: Gurbir Singh
A plea of a 28-year-old Indian citizen to remain in New Zealand has been rejected by an immigration tribunal due to relationship concerns.
The NZ Immigration and Protection Tribunal declined the appeal and ordered the deportation of the Indian man, identified only as JS, as it was not satisfied about the ‘genuineness and stability’ with his New Zealander partner.
JS admittance of having sent sexually explicit texts to sex workers “merely out of fun” went against him with INZ and tribunal who found this as a lack of commitment.
The appellant became unlawful in New Zealand on 18 July 2020, and filed a humanitarian appeal after his application for a work visa under the Partnership category was declined in June last year and his request for reconsideration of that decision was also declined a month later.
INZ alleged JS had worked as an Uber driver in breach of visa conditions, and had failed to demonstrate that his partnership was genuine, stable, credible or exclusive. The partnership work visa application was declined because the appellant’s explanations regarding the concerns were rejected.
According to the details filed in his appeal, JS first arrived here in February 2012 on a student visa, valid until March 2013. He completed a Level 5 Diploma in Business and was employed as a site cleaning operations supervisor when he held a Post-Study Employer-Assisted work visa. He was granted further student visas between December 2016 and June 2019. During this time, he completed an English language course and enrolled in a Level 6 diploma programme.
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On 17 May 2019, JS made an application for a partnership work visa, based on his relationship with a 23-year-old Cook Island Maori woman whom he had met on a social media site in June 2015. They had lived together at her parents’ house for six months from December 2017 and then moved into a studio unit.
When he and his partner were interviewed in February 2020, some statements raised concerns about the genuineness and stability of the partnership.
INZ rejected his explanations of having loaned his cell phone to a friend who had used it to arrange work as an Uber/taxi driver and had a genuine partnership that was stable and exclusive with his New Zealand partner.
JS claimed, however, that he had been in a genuine and stable partnership with his partner since 2015. While admitting that he had sent sexually explicit texts to escorts, he claimed it was not against the law “to go to such places.”
But the Tribunal determined that “the couple have overlooked, or failed to understand, the importance of demonstrating that their partnership is exclusive of others, and the Tribunal cannot be satisfied that the couple’s partnership is genuine, stable and likely to endure.”
The Tribunal also rejected the claim that INZ was biased because of their racial and cultural differences.
The Tribunal determined that the appellant “does not have exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature in terms of the statutory test” and his nexus remains to India.
JS was born in India in 1992, his parents continue to live there and his older brother is currently residing in Australia. He has departed New Zealand three times: in 2014, mid and late 2018.
NewsViews was unable to confirm if he has actually left the country.