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Two Christchurch mosques attack widows to be granted residency in New Zealand

Two widows from the Christchurch mosques attack will be granted residency in New Zealand, eight months on.

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Immigration lawyer Haseeb Ashraf shared their story exclusively with TVNZ1’s Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

The husbands of Rina Akhter and Sanjida Neha were among the 51 killed in March, but since then their residency status was uncertain because they were in New Zealand, or coming to the country, through marriage. 

Immigration lawyer Haseeb Ashraf, who represents both women, told TVNZ1’s Breakfast the Minister of Immigration has granted a special direction for their grant of residence.

“There is a very standard procedure in applying for residence so they should be able to stay. Apart from that, they were not based in New Zealand at the time of the incident and they arrived in New Zealand afterwards,” said Mr Ashraf.

He said the women would face a very stark future if they had to return to Bangladesh as widows.

“The upshot of all of this is that we have two individuals who will restart their life once again," he said. "As a community, we can see that the community is getting back up on their feet.”