A 10-year-old Filipino girl with special needs has been ordered to leave the country by tomorrow. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Immigration deports 10-year-old with special needs


A ten-year-old Filipino girl will have to wait until after the election to find out whether she will be deported, because of her special needs.

An appeal has been made after the girl, who the Nelson Weekly has agreed not to name, was ordered to leave the country last week.

However, according to the appeals process, a decision will not be reached until after October 17 at the earliest.

The girl’s parents both have valid work permits but the girl’s student visa was denied due to a diagnosis of ASD and ADHD, requiring an hour a day of learning support.

Despite a desperate plea and an offer to pay for their daughter’s treatment of $120 per week, the parents appeal was rejected, meaning as of September 24, the young girl has been here unlawfully.

The girl’s mother says it has been an incredibly stressful situation, causing her sleepless nights and an overwhelming sense of guilt.

“We want to stay together as a family, it has been like emotional torture.”

While her daughter faces deportation, the woman’s son has been permitted to stay.

“It will split our family.”

The mother says she cannot afford to move back to the Philippines while she also can’t send her daughter alone.

The girl says she wants to stay in New Zealand and doesn’t understand why she has to leave.

“It’s cool, I love my school and my friends.”

The New Zealand Immigration service wrote on September 1 to the girl saying they were declining her application for the reconsideration of her student visa because the girl was receiving Ongoing Resourcing Scheme support.

The family has lived in Nelson for the past two years, the father working for a specialist aviation company and her mother as an aged carer.

Nelson MP Nick Smith says he was appalled by the order and says the decision needs to be urgently reviewed.

“She cannot return alone and effectively this is telling this family to go because their daughter has additional educational needs.”

He says this child should not be put in the position of being in New Zealand illegally and given three-weeks’ notice to leave.

The girl’s principal says she is a beloved student.

The principal is hopeful for a compassionate result considering the family is prepared to pay the extra costs for their daughter.

Immigration NZ were unable to comment on the case.