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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23069
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Hi, [Background] Myself and my wife were granted a Residence

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Myself and my wife were granted a Residence Visa after our successful skilled immigration application. I am Pakistani and my wife is from Ukraine. I was the primary applicant and she was the secondary applicant. We land in Auckland in the first week of February 2013.

As part of the "further information" section we also mentioned my wife's kid brother (10 yr old) and her father on our original application.

Yesterday my wife's father passed away and her 10 yr old brother does not have a guardian. He is staying with distant family for now but we would like to bring him to NZ and take care of him.

What are the legal options available to us so that we can bring my wife's kid brother to live with us in NZ?

Could you also clarify the following:
1)Immigration NZ says they cannot issue a dependent child visa unless we are parents but then mentions the child can get a visitor visa. But then can he be adopted by us while on a visit in NZ?
2)We also heard that we should adopt him in Ukraine and then file for a dependent child visa. But Immigration NZ says that the adoption process must be recognized under NZ law. Is the Ukrainian adoption process recognized by NZ law?
3) Does my wife need to adopt her kid brother or can she just obtain legal guardianship?

christhelawyer : HiWelcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear
christhelawyer : You can adopt under Ukraine law but it may be easier to bring him here as a visitor and adopt under New Zealand law. Adoption in Ukraine law would be recognised under section 17 of the Adoption Act, but I do not know how long that would take. Adoption in New Zealand takes several months for the interim order then a further 6 months for the final order.
christhelawyer : it may be easier to get a parenting order under the Care of Children Act in the Family Court however. That would satisfy Immigration when you explain the story.
christhelawyer : I strongly suggest that you consult with a family lawyer when you get here and discuss the process and advantages of each.
christhelawyer : the parenting order would not be permanent like an adoption and would be easier and quicker.

I understand that the maximum length a visitor visa is issued for is 9 months. If we were to secure a parenting order while the child is on a visit to NZ would that mean he can stay indefinitely?


Our concern is that if we get him to NZ on a visit visa that he will have to return at the expiry of the visa. What would we need to do once a parenting order is issued?Apply for a dependent child visa?

christhelawyer : Once you got the parenting order you could then reply for him under the family unification visa

And this is possible even though we would be new immigrants ourselves (not NZ citizens)?


But all of this must happen as soon as he lands in NZ as a visitor...during his 9 month visa period. correct?

christhelawyer : You would have the time to do this. The family law will apply to this even though you are residents. You do not have to be a citizen for the court to have jurisdiction

In your expert opinion, this is the best course of action? our criteria is to have him in NZ with us as soon as possible.


Is there a chance that he will not be given a visitor visa since he is 10 yrs old and with no parents?


Can you recommend a good lawyer in Auckland to help us with all of this?

christhelawyer : I would suggest Queen City Law in Auckland as having both immigration and family law expertise. There are no guarantees with visas because they are discretionary, but as an orphan there would be a good case for him.
christhelawyer :

Thank you very much.


One last question


he does have step sibblings in Ukraine...but no one is in touch or willing to take him in. Would that make a difference to us willing to be his parents. Would any consent be needed by anyone else?

christhelawyer : Normally his parents would consent, and it may pay to get some family agreement from others if that is possible
christhelawyer : In addition something from the appropriate authorities in the Ukraine if possible would help, recognising that he has no one else



thank you for your help.

Chris The Lawyer and other New Zealand Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



My wife's elder step brother (40 yr old and unmarried) will be appointed guardian of the child for now. Does this make a difference to our situation when we invite the child on a visit visa and try to get a parental order?


The child does technically have extended family but we know that they dont have the means to take care of him. And its more tradition than want. We can give him a better life...will the court consider all this?

Can you arrange for your wife to be appointed instead, or even appointed as an additional guardian to the step brother?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She says that it is unlikely since she does not live there nor has had a job there in many years.


If she is not listed as a guardian, does that damage our case a lot?

That may not prevent this but the stepbrother will need to consent to your visa application and the application you make to the NZ Family Court. I assume if he is Ukrainian speaking you will need translations of the documents too