Wednesday, 12 December 2012, 9:37 am
Press Release: Amicus Barristers’ Chambers
Immigration New Zealand Shatters Migrants’ Holidays And Future
Indian workers prevented by Immigration New Zealand from returning back to New Zealand
Numerous Indian workers lawfully holding Work Visas in New Zealand have been prevented from returning to their jobs in New Zealand by Immigration New Zealand.
Dozens, and possibly hundreds of Indians holding valid Work Visas returned to India for holidays to celebrate Diwali with their families and, and with many also visiting their families whom they had not seen for many years or entering into negotiations for arranged marriages.
Despite these workers having jobs to return to and approval from their employers for extended leave, Immigration New Zealand have intervened and refused to allow many of these lawful workers from boarding aircraft bound for New Zealand and returning to work.
Judicial Review proceedings have been filed in the Auckland High Court this week seeking an interim injunction against Immigration New Zealand who intend to defend the application simply on the basis that the workers have no right to review the decision.
Lawyer for the 8 applicants, Mr Alastair J McClymont says that many Indians on Work Visas return to India for extended breaks during this time of year as they want to visit their families over Diwali, which is like Kiwis returning home for Christmas. Whilst in India many also enter into marriage negotiations which can be protracted as finding the right partner is not always easy and those workers in the Horticulture industry are encouraged to take their holidays during this time of year.
Immigration New Zealand advised Mr McClymont that they simply wished to determine whether the extended leave period was authorised. Despite this claim, Mr McClymont notes that although they have been prevented from boarding their flight for a month now, Immigration New Zealand have not yet bothered making a phone call to his clients’ employers to check if the leave was authorised.
The consequence of this action is that many of these workers are now facing termination of their employment as the employers, whilst generally sympathetic, cannot keep their jobs open indefinitely and will soon need to replace them. Many of these workers have spent thousands of dollars studying and obtaining New Zealand qualifications and are now gaining valuable work experience relevant to their qualifications.
Mr McClymont is of the opinion that Immigration New Zealand, is simply trying to force the employers to terminate the employment, a claim which the High Court in Auckland will hear early next week.
Dr Frank C. Deliu, counsel for the migrant workers, has alleged that Immigration New Zealand has acted unlawfully and indeed without any proper legal basis: “There are powers to cancel a visa and there are even powers to deport people, but my clients have done nothing wrong and even Immigration New Zealand accept that they hold valid visas, but they are being prevented from boarding their flights to come back to a place where some have lived and worked for many years without any legal basis and indeed without any proof, it is just wrong. Imagine building a life in a country, doing nothing wrong and suddenly having it all taken away from you by some faceless bureaucrat in some other part of the world, it is just terrible. I am confident the Court will release them from the hellish nightmare they are currently trapped in by this rogue government agency.”
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