#Civil Rights
Immigration New Zealand; HON Michael Woodhouse; NZ Ministry of Justice High Court of Wellington
New Zealand

Martine de Grauw and Karin Oosterveen are a couple from Belgium. Upon visiting New Zealand, they fell in love and decided to move there. Karin got a job offer from a NZ company. They applied for and were granted visas by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) on June 26, 2013, valid from July 10,2013 to July 10, 2014.

Martine and Karin were excited to start their new adventure. They quit their existing jobs giving up their pensions and insurance, packed their personal belongings in a sea container to be shipped, and put their house on the market.

On Feb 28, just days before they were to leave, Immigration New Zealand sent a message to their visa agent saying that their visas had been challenged due to information received from an anonymous person. Being in the process of packing, they didn't find out until hours before boarding to go to New Zealand that a block had been put on their visas due to this and that they could not enter NZ. This left them with nowhere to go as they were no longer registered in their country. They ended up in the Netherlands without any resources.

That was the end of February. It's been over 3.5 months and there is still NO RESOLUTION to their immigration status. They have done everything they can to try to resolve it from out-of-country. They hired a lawyer. They have submitted declarations and documents of proof, many signed by a notary. They have continued to pay fees on their sea container in port. They have NO source of income and are using their savings! They cannot legally work in the Netherlands.

INZ received an anonymous complaint. In the meantime, Karin and Martine found out that their privacy had been breached. Someone seemed to know when they were to leave and submitted a complaint at the last minute, knowing they would be put in a bad situation with no recourse. Karin's job offer is legitimate and they have acted in good faith based on such. Karin and Martine's visas expire on July 10, 2014. A court date has been set for July 14, 4 days after their visas expire

As of July 14, their container will be stored at the port for about 134 days = 7370 euro; the cost of the lawyer in NZ = 20.000 euro; a loan for all the export/import and storage, and 12 months mortgage of their property in Belgium = 25000 euro.

We, the undersigned, call on Immigration New Zealand and The NZ Minstry of Justice High Court of Wellington to immediately remove the block on Martine de Grauw and Karin Oosterveen's visas to permit them to enter New Zealand.

These ladies have acted in good faith and have done nothing wrong. Because their case is not being reviewed in a timely matter, it is resulting in undue emotional, financial and physical duress. After waiting for 4.5 months, their case is scheduled to be reviewed in court 4 days Karin and Martine's visas expire.

Criminals have their visas blocked and revoked when trying to enter the country. Karin and Martine are NOT criminals. These are two people of good character who have acted lawfully and tried desperately to resolve things. We certainly hope they are not being discriminated against for being gay, since gay marriage is legal in New Zealand.
Please do the right thing to remove the block on their visas to let them enter New Zealand as soon as possible.

The Undersigned

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The Let Karin & Martine enter New Zealand immediately! petition to Immigration New Zealand; HON Michael Woodhouse; NZ Ministry of Justice High Court of Wellington was written by Ynot and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.