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NRI Patel illegal immigrant in New Zealand reunited with wife, son, after 23 years


Wellington, New Zealand, March 27, 2009
Suresh Patel

NRI Abdul Jalil Patel, 58, has been reunited with his wife Amina, 55, and son Salman, 24, after 23 years of separation. He came to New Zealand in 1986 with a dream of becoming a citizen, He said:

  • His immigration consultant lost his passport and dis not file his residency application, making him an illegal in New Zealand.
  • He didn't know he was breaking the law but just knew he had to earn some money to survive
  • Almost every night he dream of hugging his wife and son, he still cannot believe that he got to physically hold them today
  • He worked in the hospitality industry, sometimes as a bartender or chef

In 2004, he gave up hope of ever seeing his wife and started a new relationship, but his new partner ran away with his savings.

Jalil Patel, 24, his son said, "I grew up without a father, and never thought I would ever get to see him. But today is truly a blessing for our family, and we are really so happy to be a complete family again."

His wife Amina had been praying every day for 23 years for this day to come, and felt it happened only with the "blessings of Allah".

In September, he met new consultant, Tika Ram, who made a appeal to the Immigration Minister. As an exception to policy, the Immigration Minister, Shane Jones, agreed to grant Mr Patel, 58 and his wife Amina, 55, residency.




Abdul Jalil Patel, 58 waited 23 years to reunite his family