Immigration NZ Under Fire for Suggesting No Kids = No Partnership Visa

Michael Yoon
Principal Immigration Lawyer
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In this NZ immigration news, INZ faced criticism after asking a 52-year-old woman why she had no children with partner suggesting partnership maybe unstable for not having any children from the relationship. Contact Immigration Lawyer NZ for any questions.

In this immigration news NZ, we look at how Immigration New Zealand’s gone and put its foot right in it, again. A 52-year-old woman, Jieshan Shen, was asked by Immigration NZ why she hasn't had children with her husband, and they suggested this lack of offspring is a reason to question the legitimacy of their marriage. You can almost hear the collective gasp, can't you? It's not just insensitive; it's downright intrusive and offensive.

Now, Shen is a Wellington businesswoman and a New Zealand citizen. She’s got two adult kids from a previous marriage, suffered a miscarriage at 48, and has medical issues requiring radiation therapy. Yet, the INZ officer thought it was appropriate to send her a letter questioning why she and her husband haven’t produced a child in their three years together. Because apparently, according to INZ, children are the ultimate proof of a stable relationship. Never mind the joint business they run or the life they share.

INZ, realising the monumental blunder, has apologised and reassigned the couple’s case to a new officer. Immigration Minister Erica Stanford, offshore at the time, was quick to voice her disapproval, noting that the absence of children does not indicate whether a relationship is genuine or stable. She’s spot on. Couples may want kids and can’t have them, or they might choose not to have kids for entirely personal reasons. This should be common sense, but it seems it needs spelling out to some in INZ.

Jinsheng, Shen’s husband, has faced multiple visa rejections and the couple even married in Samoa to try to stay together. INZ’s concerns about Jinsheng’s past, including a forged employment letter, are one thing, but demanding to know why a couple hasn’t had children is another.

So here we are, in 2024, with government officials still sticking their noses where they don’t belong. The department’s got some serious explaining to do, and not just to the couple, but to all of us. Because this kind of intrusion? It’s simply not on. And that's immigration news for today, subscribe and follow me for more immigration updates and trends.

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Last modified on 31 May 2024 by
Michael Yoon
Principal Immigration Lawyer
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.
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