Gay Thai couples have difficulty obtaining NZ visas
Two Thai couples attempting to take advantage of New Zealand’s same-sex marriage laws have complained about how difficult the process of obtaining a visa has been. Both couples are younger Thai men marrying older Americans, something that appears to have made the Kiwi authorities suspicious.
According to a report in the New Zealand Herald the couples were asked to produce photographs, property records and bank account statements in order to prove that they really intended to get married while visiting the country.
When the visas were eventually issued they were stamped with words stating that they were in the country expressly for the purpose of same-sex marriage. Rachel Purdom, spokesperson for Immigration New Zealand, said this was an error and that in future visa staff would be instructed to use only the word marriage in such cases.
Ms Purdom explained that everybody entering New Zealand had to be able to prove that they are doing so legally and that they only intend to stay for a limited period of time.
She added that in the case of the Thai couples, both said they intended to come for a marriage ceremony and so the immigration department asked for some proof that the ceremony was planned.
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