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Immigration apologises to gay Thai couples

Mon 2 Sep 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

Kai Kingsley Immigration NZ has apologised for the endorsement it added to the visas of two same-sex couples from Thailand who had applied to come to New Zealand to get married. The two similar couples, both with an older American man wishing to marry a much younger Thai partner, had to battle to get visitor permits, which were eventually stamped with the statement: "for the express purpose of registering same-sex marriage." Jakthon Phaengtho Because Thailand is not one of those countries to which New Zealand extends visa-free entry the couples had to apply for entry permits but say they were put through the third degree. Artist Kai Kingsley, 66, who will marry Jakthon Phaengtho, 36, in Auckland says they were asked for "proof of everything you own and what you privately share." He says they even had to provide photos of their jewellery to prove they had sufficient financial resources to enter New Zealand. The couples complained to the NZ Herald and after the paper made enquiries both couples received apologies for the entry permits' endorsement. A spokesperson for Immigration NZ says visitors from Thailand and many other nations "must be able to satisfy Immigration NZ that they genuinely intend a temporary stay in New Zealand for a lawful purpose and that they are unlikely to remain in new Zealand unlawfully or breach the conditions of their visa."    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 2nd September 2013 - 2:42pm

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