Family frustrated over visa refusal
Steve Razos has spent two years ‘‘on a knife-edge’’, battling to unite his family after immigration officials refused his Filipino fiancee a visa to bring the couple’s young son to New Zealand.
Immigration NZ says it is concerned about a ‘‘history of instability’’ in the couple’s relationship but Razos, a Hawke’s Bay businessman, says the family simply want to settle down together.
Razos, 45, and fiancee Krystel Galos, 26, met four years ago and lived together in New Zealand when she held a work visa.
But since she returned to the Philippines in 2015, INZ has refused her applications to come back to New Zealand, saying the couple belatedly admitted they separated that year, with Galos remaining here for several months in breach of her visa conditions.
INZ also said it was concerned about the ‘‘risk of domestic violence’’ in the relationship and ‘‘potential negative effects’’ on the couple’s 20-month-old son Kieran because of a history of police being called to domestic disputes between the pair when they were last in the country together.
But Razos said the couple were committed to building a life together, and ‘‘family should come first regardless of insignificant incidents in the past’’.
Galos was applying for a visitor’s permit, not residency, and last week Associate Immigration Minister Scott Simpson told her he would not intervene in INZ’s decision to decline the application.
‘‘We are not perfect and, in hindsight, we have made some minor mistakes,’’ Razos said.
‘‘We were open and honest with our submissions to INZ and the minister’s office, but we have been stuffed around by everyone concerned and absolutely nobody has really helped us to achieve what we set out to achieve – to be a family.’’
While Galos made domestic violence complaints against Razos to police in 2015, she said the complaints, and the couple’s brief break-up, were the result of hormone issues related to her pregnancy.
They wanted ‘‘another opportunity and second chance’’ to build a life together in new Zealand.
‘‘There is no doubt in our minds things are very different now and we will get things right this time.’’
In its June decision declining her visitor visa application, INZ said it had considered the best interests of the couple’s son and also took into account that Razos could travel to the Philippines to be with Kieran and Galos.
Razos said the couple had been exasperated by ‘‘constant delays’’ in processing Galos’ applications. An INZ spokesman said ‘‘process failures’’ had been identified with Galos’ original visitor visa application but a review had found no failures with the final decision.
A spokesman for Simpson said the minister did not to comment on individual immigration cases. A young woman who suffered a head injury in a rugby league match in Hawke’s Bay has died.
The 23-year-old woman was taken to Hawke’s Bay Hospital on August 26 after collapsing on the field during a match between Tamatea and Dannevirke.
The woman, who played for Tamatea, was taken to hospital by ambulance in a critical condition. She passed away two days later.
The match at Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings was played at 12.30pm.
Rugby League Hawke’s Bay secretary Mike Tamati said the woman appeared unsteady on her feet after taking a tackle.
He said her coach noticed this and called her to the sideline, where she collapsed.
‘‘It has been a huge shock to all of us and the rugby league community around the country. We are caring for the family as much as we can through this process,’’ he said.
Tributes for the woman, who had a young child, have been flowing on her Facebook page.
‘‘The LOVE she has for her siblings and both her parents is totally amazing,’’ one friend wrote.
‘‘You will greatly missed by many of people in NGATIKAHUNGUNU. RIP beautiful Angel.’’
‘‘We are not perfect and, in hindsight, we have made some minor mistakes.’’
Steve Razos Steve Razos, his fiancee Krystel Galos and their son Kieran Galos.