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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Punjabi youth denied visa over 37-year age gap with NZ wife

ANI  Wellington, July 05, 2013
First Published: 21:59 IST(5/7/2013) | Last Updated: 22:14 IST(5/7/2013)

Immigration New Zealand has reportedly declined a Punjabi youth, Balwinder Singh (22), a visa to stay in the country with his wife, New Zealander Glyn Kessell (59).

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The immigration authorities cited the age gap as one of the reasons to deny Singh the visa, a move which he labels as "ageist" and "racist", the New Zealand Herald reports.

According to the report, Singh had come to New Zealand as an international student and had applied for a work visa under the partnership category after his marriage, but this was declined.

Singh claims that he is "madly, passionately and deeply" in love with his wife, whom he met at a hair salon in Glenfield last year and after three weeks of courtship, they married two months later.

However, the authorities have difficulty in believing Singh's claims. In their letter to him denying the visa request, they said that noting the religious and cultural differences between him and his wife, they were not convinced if the relationship was likely to endure.

Singh said he could have gone with any younger Kiwi girl, but he chose Kessell because he loved her and the age is just a number, adding that it's also wrong to question the cultural difference because if he wanted to be fully Indian, he would have remained in India.

Meanwhile, Kessell, who has a 37-year-old son, said she didn't care about her in-laws being younger to her, adding that she is '21 "in her mind" and it is not about age but about who she likes.

The report said Kessell denied that Singh entered the relationship to obtain residency.
Immigration NZ area manager Michael Carley said the couple had an uncommonly short three-month courtship and their home appeared to be akin to a boarding situation.

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

Singh could take the matter to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal if Immigration NZ denies the application.

However, he might be deported if the tribunal also rejects his request, the report added.

mmigration New Zealand has reportedly declined a Punjabi youth, Balwinder Singh (22), a visa to stay in the country with his wife, New Zealander Glyn Kessell (59).

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