There are beautiful, loving and genuine relationships where a NZer has sponsored a migrant partner, but there are also horrendous stories of Kiwis being used, abused and dumped by migrants.
Sadly, love comes in many packages and it is not until the relationship has been tested that the problems arise.
In this case, the woman felt pressured by her dead mother’s wishes, to marry someone from her own cultural background. We are not advised if her family arranged the marriage, but she went to Syria and married him. The marriage quickly deteriorated into abuse and she left him and returned to NZ.
But the heart is a fickle instrument and his pleas and promises worked and she sponsored him to come to NZ. He lived with her for two weeks when his true nature reasserted itself and after more abuse, she sought a protection order.
Then he was granted refugee status!
As a refugee, he would have been granted a work visa and presumably residence. He is allowed to live near her and has claimed ½ of her assets under matrimonial property legislation.

This abuse of the trust of people and the systems means that too often we learn of similar stories of heart-broken NZers who believed their partner truly loved them, only to find that shortly after being granted a resident visa their lover leaves for someone else.
They learn that they have been callously used as a tool to obtain residence. The unlucky ones lose their homes as well as their hearts.
Another aspect which is often too sensitive to discuss in a public forum, is that if the NZer is a young woman from a non-western culture and loses her virginity to the person she has believed in and sponsored, she will at best find it extremely difficult to find another husband.

What Did Our Subject Do Wrong?

  1. She did what she thought her dead mother wanted.
    We all do things, or don’t do them, because of what we think someone else will think. Reality is most people are so busily thinking about themselves, they don’t really think about us at all.
  2. She stayed within her culture, contributing to cultural separatism rather than seeking to integrate into her host community.
  3. After experiencing the abuse in Syria, she allowed herself to believe that her husband had dramatically changed his attitude in the period they were apart and took her husband’s promises as truth, not realising that he had a different agenda.
  4. And more pragmatically, she apparently did not seek advice about a pre-nuptial agreement which could at least have protected her home.
    My heart goes out to this young woman, and the other NZers who have experienced being used and abused for immigration purposes.
    Immigration officers are all too aware of these situations and do their best to protect the NZ party, but they can only make their decisions on the information they receive, and when the full story is not there, hearts can be broken and lives destroyed.