British Grandmother Denied Entry to New Zealand to Meet New Grandson Despite Having NZeTA

British Grandmother Denied Entry to New Zealand
An 80-year-old British grandmother was left “devastated” after she was prevented from meeting her new grandson in New Zealand despite having been granted a New Zealand Travel Authority (NZeTA). Lois Crumpton had applied for the NZeTA, which allows for visa-free travel for passport holders from 60 different countries and territories, including the UK, after her New Zealand-based son Tom Crumpton and his partner welcomed their second child William.
Crumpton’s application was approved on January 3rd, 2021 and she booked her return tickets to New Zealand shortly afterwards, only to be denied boarding for the second leg of her journey in San Francisco on January 17th after some 15 hours of travel.
“She went to board her flight to Auckland and was stopped at the gate and told she’s an overstayer and not authorized to return to New Zealand,” said Crumpton, who has been dealing with Immigration New Zealand on his mother’s behalf. Lois had traveled to New Zealand in early 2020 to meet Crumpton’s first child, her granddaughter Dorothy, and was stranded there after the country closed its borders in an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19.
In line with government instructions at the time, she applied to Immigration NZ for a visitor visa, and was granted a six-month interim visa which expired on August 5, 2021 while she waited for it to come through. However, Lois flew back to the UK while her application for a visitor visa was still under consideration, leaving after her interim visa had expired.

In a complaint lodged with Immigration NZ, Lois said she overstayed her interim visa as she had received medical advice that she should not travel until she had received her vaccination against Covid-19. Believing she had done everything she was supposed to do by applying for an NZeTA before booking her 2023 trip to New Zealand, Lois lodged the complaint with Immigration NZ, saying the situation had caused her “significant stress”.

Immigration New Zealand general manager border and visa operations, Nicola Hogg, acknowledged “the difficult situation” Lois Crumpton found herself in and apologized for the stress it had caused. She noted that, as the Immigration NZ website states, a valid NZeTA does not guarantee its holder will be allowed to travel to or enter New Zealand.
On Thursday, following another phone call from Tom Crumpton and enquiries from Stuff, Immigration NZ reinstated Lois’ visa-waiver status, enabling her to travel to New Zealand on her existing NZeTA and UK passport. While Tom Crumpton is pleased his mother will now be able to visit them, the experience has left him “angry and frustrated” and the cost of the wasted air ticket of £2000 (NZ$3800) will have to be borne by the family.

Source: Stuff NZ

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