A Fijian-Indian woman in a same-sex relationship with a New Zealander has won a deportation battle and can now stay in New Zealand.
The woman married her New Zealand resident partner, who has two daughters, a fortnight after discovering she had been turned down for a work visa, Radio New Zealand reports.
Immigration New Zealand wasn't convinced the pair were in a stable relationship and declined her application for a work visa because although the couple claimed to have been living together since 2010, this had not been declared in previous applications, and evidence of joint finances were only from around the period of the marriage.
The 30-year-old Indian-Fijian woman said gay relationships aren't acceptable in Indian culture, and she was afraid of physical abuse if their relationship was found out by family and friends.
She said the pair have discussed plans for running a courier business and do not believe they could live without each other.
The Immigration and Protection Tribunal acknowledged this and other evidence, and decided it would be very harsh to deport her.
They cited the woman's "relationship with her New Zealand-resident partner, the difficulties the couple would experience living openly as a gay couple in Fiji and the partner's commitment to caring for her teenage daughter amount to exceptional humanitarian circumstances".
Her work visa has been issued for a period of 12 months.