In a recent and intricate case involving a Parent Category Expression of Interest (EOI), we were determined to successfully navigate a series of challenges to secure a favorable outcome for a family facing immigration uncertainties. The case, marked by health issues and bureaucratic complexities, underscores the importance of perseverance and skilled advocacy in the immigration process.
The journey began with a Father, originally the Principal in the EOI pool, facing a severe health setback as he battled cancer. A swift response secured visas for medical treatment. However, the complexities didn't end there. As the health situation evolved, the outgoing adviser on the EOI recommended a critical amendment – making the wife the Principal applicant due to the husband's health. This was the right move. However, Immigration NZ then told that same adviser, if the husband was included as a secondary applicant and is ultimately found not to be in acceptable health or given a waiver, the wife would also have to be declined.
Amid these challenges, that same Licensed Adviser asked us to take over the EOI. Recognizing the nuances of the situation and the implications for the family, we sought to maintain the wife as the Principal applicant while designating the husband as the secondary applicant, considering the current stability of his health condition.
A Bold Request:
Well-versed in the intricacies of immigration policies and part of an Immigration NZ Focus Group last year precisely tasked with clarifying when partners can be removed from residence applications without jeopardising the entire application, I made a bold request to Immigration New Zealand (INZ). Citing Visa Pak 508, I sought assurance that the husband could be removed from the application if found ineligible for health reasons, without jeopardizing the wife's status.
INZ initially declined this request, asserting that the fate of the applications was intertwined. They then also indicated that they were now going to decline to invite the husband to apply with his wife. They relied on F4.5.10 – a provision that, in essence, says they "may" decline to invite someone to apply for residence if they have a health condition that "may" adversely impact. We were told this decision had been reviewed by various seniors. The decision seemed final.
Undeterred, I escalated the matter to the attention of an INZ Manager. In a pivotal conversation, the Manager was prepared to wind back the decision not to allow this gentleman to apply for residence. They also agreed that there would be the possibility to remove him from the application later on, if found not to meet the health requirements or be eligible for a health waiver. That way, the wife could still get residence on her own at least.
So Far So Good:
While we are far from being out of the woods, we have at least for now, preserved the ability of this couple to apply together and test the health instructions. The couple need not "stand or fall together". It will mean so much to this family if they can at least see how the health matters pan out.
This decision not only underscores the importance of having a robust and responsive immigration system but also showcases the impact of effective communication and advocacy in addressing complex cases. It also goes to show that there are those "can-do" Managers within INZ prepared to give a purposeful and considered decision in relation to what can be complex immigration instructions that we all have to navigate.
Licensed since 2008. License # 200800243.