Immigration U-turn means family can stay together

Pleased with the surprise news of her residency last night are Fijian settler Firoza Begum (centre) and her husband Mohammed Kalim, daughter Farina Shah and grandchildren Arsheed (12, left) and Farheel (9) and Aymaan (13) Shah, who live in Balclutha. Phot
Pleased with the surprise news of her residency last night are Fijian settler Firoza Begum (centre) and her husband Mohammed Kalim, daughter Farina Shah and grandchildren Arsheed (12, left) and Farheel (9) and Aymaan (13) Shah, who live in Balclutha. Photo: Richard Davison
The Balclutha family of a Fijian settler was lost for words last night, after receiving surprise news of a U-turn on her imminent deportation.

Stroke victim Firoza Begum expressed ''relief and joy'' after receiving the good tidings from Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker, as the family sat down to tea about 5.30pm.

Since early August, Mr Walker has lobbied Immigration New Zealand on behalf of Mrs Begum and her husband Mohammed Kalim, after a clerical error in processing their most recent annual working visas led to her receiving a deportation order.

Mr Kalim, a Silver Fern Farms halal meatworker of 12 years, and former supermarket assistant Mrs Begum have now been granted interim residency and expect to be able to remain with their daughter and three grandchildren in the South Otago town indefinitely.

The couple must submit an application for permanent residency within three months, which will be considered under the Skilled Migrant Category.

After the Otago Daily Times report on July 30, messages of support flooded in, including from Mr Walker, NZ First list MP Mark Patterson and Dunedin law firm Wilkinson Rodgers.

On the evening of August 3, Immigration NZ contacted the family with news of a temporary reprieve while their appeal was considered.

Mrs Begum and Mr Kalim had been due to fly out to Fiji the following morning.

The latest news had been just one extraordinary peak in a ''roller-coaster ride'' for the family, daughter Farina Shah said.

''I can't explain how we feel right now. It's been very tough at times, then amazing with the support we've had from Mr Walker, [Clutha Mayor] Bryan Cadogan, our lawyer, the ODT and so many local people. We're very grateful.''

Mr Kalim said the family would celebrate through prayer, and by sharing a celebratory meal.

Mrs Begum said she felt ''so happy'' to be able to remain with her grandchildren.

''They are my world. I couldn't imagine life without them.''

Farheel said she was excited to know her ''Nani'' would now stay.

''I was feeling sad. Now I'm very happy.''

richard.davison@odt.co.nz

Comments

Govt. got it right the first time....

Yes, families must be broken up, productivity at the Works slowed down, because of general intolerance.

 

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