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Tongan couple ‘ecstatic’ to finally granted permanent residency in New Zealand

(L-R) Lesieli Filiai, Sēmisi Filiai and Director of Pacific Immigration Consultancy Koli Vānisi. Photo/Supplied

A couple who both have underlying health conditions including what is thought to be kidney renal cancer had been granted permanent residency in New Zealand.

Sēmisi Filiai, 57 and his wife Lesieli Filiai, 54, had been made residents last month.

Sēmisi  came to New Zealand under a one year work visa in January 2012.

His wife Lesieli arrived later in June 2016. They overstayed their visa in 2019.  

The couple sought the help of some immigration consultants to apply their residence visas but to no avail.

They finally enlisted the help of immigration consultant Koli Vānisi who successfully convinced the Immigration New Zealand that the Filiais should stay here permanently.

“The couple are so ecstatic knowing they could now continue to stay here,” Vānisi told Kaniva News.

He said there was nothing really concrete in the couple’s circumstances for him to make a stand against the immigration’s previous decision against them.

He said he received a letter from a specialist doctor which confirmed that Sēmisi needs to be here in New Zealand legally so that one of his kidneys could be treated.

Vānisi was no stranger to facing Immigration New Zealand against some of the hardest and rarest cases it had declined.

As we reported last year, Vānisi successfully appealed a declined residence visa application in which the Immigration New Zealand ordered 60-year-old Hailoa Tupoumālohi and her husband Afu’alo to leave the country. Hailoa was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure, and she was placed on haemodialysis treatment three times a week.

Vanisi represented Hailoa and her husband in their fight against Immigration New Zealand and the couple were finally granted residency.

Vānisi could be contacted on mobile phone 0212941443 or landline telephone 09 5250361 or email him at: [email protected]