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Pacific She's 59, He's 22 And Fighting To Stay In NZ

findingmyway

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Aug 18, 2010
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She's 59, he's 22 and fighting to stay in NZ

http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10894878

By Lincoln Tan

A couple's age gap of nearly 40 years is being cited as one of the reasons Immigration New Zealand declined an Indian man's visa application - a move he says is "ageist".

Balwinder Singh, 22, met New Zealander Glyn Kessell, 59, at a hair salon in Glenfield last year.

The relationship started with texts, progressed to "intimacy" within three weeks and then marriage two months later.

Mr Singh said he was "madly, passionately in love" with his wife and the relationship had "hit off right from the start".

But officials do not believe the partnership is genuine and stable.

Mr Singh, who came here as an international student, applied for a work visa under the partnership category after his marriage, but this was declined.

"We have noted that you and your partner have a significant age gap," Immigration NZ wrote to Mr Singh, "and noting the religious and cultural differences between you and your partner, we are not convinced that you and your partner have demonstrated that this relationship is likely to endure."

It said the onus was on Mr Singh, a former Vodafone business specialist, and his partner to prove their partnership was genuine.

Mr Singh attacked the decision as "ageist and racist".

"I could have gone with any younger Kiwi girls, but I chose my wife because I loved her ... Age is just a number. It is also wrong to question the cultural difference, because if I wanted to be fully Indian, I would have remained in India."

Mrs Kessell-Singh, a former human resources manager, was asked in an Immigration interview how she felt about being older than her in-laws, who are 46 and 45. "I don't give a stuff ... I am 21 in my mind. It's not about the age, it's about who you like. Age is not relevant."

Mrs Kessell-Singh, who has a 37-year-old son, also denied Mr Singh had entered into the relationship to obtain residency.

Immigration NZ area manager Michael Carley denied the decision was ageist or racist. It was made "after an extremely detailed and thorough assessment, which included visiting Mr Singh and his wife at their home and interviewing them both".

"The couple got married after an uncommonly short three-month courtship. It was noted during a visit to the couple's home that their living arrangement appeared to be akin to a boarding situation."

The application was assessed twice by different officers, and the service had concerns about the couple's differing future expectations.

The couple's immigration adviser, Tuariki Delamere, has filed a complaint against the officers for discriminating over age, culture and religion in their decisions.

He said Mr Singh could take the matter to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal should his appeal to Immigration NZ fail.

He might be deported if the tribunal decided against him
 

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spnadmin

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I personally do not know how to tell if this couple is truly in love and devoted to one another. How can anyone tell whether they are or they are not? They seem to be, but intuitions can be way off the mark. I also could not figure how long they had been married. That seems important to know since this is an immigration case.

The immigration official may have also used his intuition and decided that the marriage was a dishonest strategy to slide Mr. Singh under immigration regulations - a sham marriage in other words.

In this story, the problem is that the immigration official is walking into charges of discrimination based on age multiplied by gender. A big age difference between a man and a woman in most cultures favors the much older man/much younger woman combo. When the woman is much older, then social taboos and stereotypes rear up: she must be perverted, she is robbing the cradle, they are both depraved, he must be looking for a mother figure, this marriage has to be a hoax. So the decision to actually cite "age" does end up looking like discrimination, and it does seem very ham-fisted.

In most countries citizenship by the marriage route is investigated very vigorously. Western women, Australian women, New Zealand women have also been known to stand in as legal marriage partners only to divorce after citizenship is granted to the male. They may even be paid for their services. The immigration official's zeal therefore is not surprizing. However, using the "age-gap" is not convincing proof that this particular man and woman are running a hoax. It could be there is other information that was not reported. :whatzpointkudi: :whatzpointsing:
 

Ishna

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May 9, 2006
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I've got nothing against age gaps, my own husband is 22 years my senior, however 37 years is HUGE. What if he ends up wanting children? Not that that has anything to do with this immigration case however.

SPNAdmin has a very good point - it would be really interesting to know how long they've been married for.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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This is an interesting dilemma. This was also a common thing in the US. Many Indians who came here in the early 70's, got married with the Americans on a kind of contract basis and after getting their Green cards, which was immediate, divorce was natural within a few months. But now, the law has changed. The couple has to stay married for two years minimum, file joint Income Tax returns in order for the Green Card holder to become a permanent Resident Alien on the path to the citizenship. If divorced earlier, then the Green Card expires after two years. If the similar rule was in the Kiwi land, then the things for the couple would be easier, provided they stayed "in love" for 2 years.
 

spnadmin

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This is an interesting dilemma. This was also a common thing in the US. Many Indians who came here in the early 70's, got married with the Americans on a kind of contract basis and after getting their Green cards, which was immediate, divorce was natural within a few months. But now, the law has changed. The couple has to stay married for two years minimum, file joint Income Tax returns in order for the Green Card holder to become a permanent Resident Alien on the path to the citizenship. If divorced earlier, then the Green Card expires after two years. If the similar rule was in the Kiwi land, then the things for the couple would be easier, provided they stayed "in love" for 2 years.
That basically captures my issue with the story. It is impossible to tell from the article whether the age gap indicates a sham, or whether the immigration official is jumping off on a personal prejudice.

The age gap in and of itself should signify nothing. However, if the man was older and the woman younger would the situation change in the eyes of the official? And then there is the parallel situation where a much younger woman, also an immigrant, may be using the "marriage" to become a citizen, get her green card and then disappear into the night, or just file for an amicable divorce from the much older man. This has happened in the states, particularly with "brides" from eastern Europe and Russia.

Exactly what were the indications other than age that made the official suspicious?

p/s Older woman/younger man is a trend in the states, and yes with gaps of 30 years or more. She is 59; she is not an ancient crone. She is a "cougar." Note: among the Taliban a woman at age 50 may remove her face covering as she is no longer considered sexually relevant. I don't think that is the story worldwide.
 
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Oct 4, 2012
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don't wanna judge too much but i don't know why i feel this guy won't stay for a long time with her, he didn't put some months before filing for his immigration to stay there....why is he in a hurry for the papers, he should enjoy a little while with his wife. this is what makes me think the most that there are very less chances of true love to exist between this couple, the rest i can be totally wrong...only the future can tell the truth. better shut my mouth.
 

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