1 Mar 2012

Brief reprieve for elderly Indian couple

9:14 pm on 1 March 2012

An elderly Indian couple married for more than 50 years has been granted a temporary reprieve to stay together in New Zealand.

Vandravandas and Taraben Shah moved to New Zealand four years ago to live with their son in Auckland.

Mr Shah is a permanent resident, but his wife has been unable to gain the same status because of her health.

Immigration Department medical advisors say Mrs Shah needs two knee replacements at a cost of up to $20,000 each.

But the couple's son, Mukesh Shar, says his mother can still do daily tasks and doesn't require an operation.

Mr Shar says his mother has no family in India anymore and could not cope alone if deported.

He has asked the Immigration Minister to consider his mother's position, saying his parents are under a lot of pressure.

The Immigration Department has confirmed Mrs Shah has been granted a further visitor's visa, which will expire in two months.