Dad fights to get his family home
Kiwi man desperate to bring his son and partner here from Philippines.
As Father’s Day looms, one Kiwi dad is appealing for Immigration New Zealand to have a heart. For two years, Stephen Razos, 45, a business owner from Hastings, has been fighting to get a visa for his Filipina partner and son to visit.
Although the couple have been together on and off for four years, the agency doesn’t believe his relationship with Krystel Galos, 26, is genuine.
The couple met four years ago when Razos was on holiday in the Philippines, and have a son, Johnny Kieren, who is turning 2 in December.
“It is absurd for Immigration to say our relationship isn’t real, the only reason we’re apart is because of them,” Razos said. “All we want is to be reunited as a family.” Associate Minister of Immigration Scott Simpson said earlier this week that he was not prepared to intervene in this case.
Razos previously sponsored Galos, who was in New Zealand for about 16 months from May 2014, first on a visitor visa and then a work visa.
But when the couple broke up, Galos returned to the Philippines. However the pair resumed their relationship long-distance when Galos realised she was pregnant.
Galos had intended to come back to New Zealand to give birth, but was told before boarding her return flight her work visa had been cancelled.
After the baby was born in the Philippines, a DNA test was done and the results submitted to the Immigration department as evidence to support their application.
When it was again declined, Razos wrote to the Immigration Minister and lodged a complaint against INZ.
Since then, they had engaged a lawyer and made further submissions — all without success.
Razos, who has a 9-year-old son from a previous relationship, said it was his dream for his boys to meet.
“My love for Krystel has never stopped, and I’m feeling the lowest after learning that INZ would not grant them visas, and they have no right of appeal.” He was now pinning his hopes on the agency having some compassion for their situation.
“We are not perfect and in hindsight we have made some minor mistakes, but we have been open and honest with our submissions,” he said.
“Shouldn’t every couple be given a second chance, especially when two parents choose to be together?” Moving to the Philippines was not an option because of Razos’ responsibility to his other son and in running his business.
INZ area manager Marcelle Foley told the Herald on Sunday the visitor visa applications were declined “because of concerns the relationship is not genuine and credible”.
Foley said a manager who reviewed the application and evidence found no evidence of any processing or service failures.
“INZ acknowledges that the visitor visa application took longer to process than normal, but Mr Razos and his lawyer were kept informed about the situation,” Foley added.
Stephen Razos and Krystel Galos with their son, Johnny Kieren Galos.