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Immigration NZ faces another accusation its visa policies are racist, as man's African partner denied entry


There are more calls that Immigration New Zealand's visa policies are racist.

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Rinah planned on visiting her Kiwi boyfriend before returning to Madagascar for work. Source: 1 NEWS

An African woman with offers to complete a doctorate in France says she went above and beyond the requirements to prove she would be a genuine visitor to New Zealand but she's twice been refused entry.

Earlier this week 1 NEWS brought you the story of two Ethopian guides who were denied entry despite the support of a group of retired professionals.

Group slams Immigration NZ’s visa policy as ‘racist’ after two Ethiopians denied entry

The latest case involves Christchurch man Ben Parker, who is working on a new business venture in aqua culture.

It comes after spending two and a half years in Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa working on a project to build a sustainable alternative livelihood to fishing for locals.

It's there he met his now girlfriend Rinah Rakotondrazaka. The pair dated for about a year-and-a-half before his contract finished.

They decided to keep the relationship going, the hope was for Ms Rakotondrazaka to come to New Zealand to visit once her contract ended in early 2019.

The plan was for the masters graduate to spend six months here before returning to Madagascar for work.

According to Immigration New Zealand's website, Ms Rakotondrazaka like all applicants from Africa, had to prove she was a genuine visitor and have enough money to fund her travel or have a sponsor as well as have a ticket to show she intended to leave the country.

Her application seemed to provide so much more.

“We had everything ticked off, she had permission and a letter from her employer, we had her bank accounts, more than the recommended money - my family were genuine sponsors she had a work contract. She had property back in Madagascar,” reasoned Mr Parker.

She applied in June and waited two-and-a-half months before being told her visa was denied.

The reason, she wasn't deemed a genuine visitor.

“Yeah we were quite shocked and surprised and pretty frustrated,” Mr Parker said.

So they reapplied, this time for a two month visit.

Mr Parker said the pair “included everything” but two days before Christmas they got the email that the application had again been denied.

“In my mind there was no reason why the second application would be refused because I thought everything was there,” Ms Rakotondrazaka said.

Immigration New Zealand has told 1 NEWS it still had issues with her financial and employment ties to Madagascar.

“I would say that systematically Immigration New Zealand is unjust and a little racist towards African people, you know it should be based on merit, not where you come from,” Mr Parker said.

The Immigration Minister denies the visitor visa process is racist and has no plans to review it.

“I know people will often be disappointed with the decisions that are made but the criteria have to be applied. People have to meet those criteria and that's the same for everybody no matter what part of the world they come from," says Iain Lees-Galloway.

Mr Parker and Ms Rakotondrazaka are exhausted, they now plan to meet up in the Philippines where they can both get visitors visas.

“We'll spend some time together there and then make some plans which realistically looks like it can't include New Zealand,” says Mr Parker.