Petition for Joel’s Family Visa Exception

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My name is Melyssa, I am 42 years old and about 4 years ago I moved to New Zealand in November 2016 with daughters Bianca and Jaqueline when they were 15 & 13. We came to reencounter my love, Joel, the father of my daughters, to live the our dream.

Joel, my husband, arrived in New Zealand in 18 August 2015 to study English. Accomplishing the first part of his plan. He immediately fell in love with New Zealand. After some months living in Queenstown all his expectations were met and he then decided that there was no better place for us to raise our daughters. He worked hard and studied to bring us to live with him.

Whilst he was dedicating himself in NZ, I was in Brazil, working, studying and taking care of everything so we could soon meet again. Our family had never spent so long far from each other.

To me and Joel all our effort was worth it. We would soon be all together in New Zealand. Our kids would have more opportunities, security, our life quality would be better, and we would spend more time together as a family. After a year of hard work and planning me and my daughters finally arrived in Queenstown and my family was finally together.

After a year living in Queenstown, Joel kept working and looking for better job opportunities. He was called in for an interview in Invercargill.  He would be able to work in an area which could benefit us in the future. It was a hard and dangerous work but thinking about our future and the future of our girls we decided together that it was a good choice, if our family was happy and together, we could move anywhere.

Unfortunately, we received the news of a devastating tragedy, my Joel at the age of 45 left us too soon after a terrible and fatal on the 21st of February 2020.

We raised a fundraiser to bring him back to Brazil, where with the help of many of you we could bring him to his last resting place to rest in peace.  He never stopped loving his home country so I felt like the right thing to do was to take his body back to Brazil so his mum, siblings, family and friends could say their last goodbye.

 2020 would be our third year in Invercargill. Even though during some seasons Joel would have to work in other cities and would only come back home on the weekends, my family was living the life that me and Joel had always dreamed of. He was always present.

We, especially Joel, had to work extremely hard in order to reach our goals. Which at the time was to get residency so our girls would have more opportunities in New Zealand. Months before this tragedy me and Joel had initiated the organization of documents to apply for residency but suddenly this process had to be interrupted. His death left us helpless. 

According to NZ Immigration law and rules, me and my daughters had ours VISAs cancelled. Due to that we now can’t entry or stay in New Zealand.

We want, at least, to keep the same VISAs we had.

We are currently stuck in Brazil. Our house, Joel’s belongs, our clothes, car, documents... everything is in Invercargill. It feels like all of Joel’s hard work has been in vain and all the things we built through these four years have been taken away from us. Not just material but all the friendships that we made, the plans we had, the memories we created.

I am still devastated with this tragedy and I am worried for my daughters’ future, once they are young, still in school and have a whole life ahead them.

Over the last four years Joel, our girls and I have created a life in New Zealand and we can’t see ourselves living in Brazil again.

I need to follow what Me and my husband had planned for us. Sadly he is not here anymore but I still need everything to happen as we had planned.

After this terrible loss, I need to go back to our house with my daughters, go back to our city. I believe that it would be important and would make things a little bit easier for my daughters to be with their friends, at their own house and trying to get on with the lives they were used to have. It would soften their pain to be in a familiar environment.

We understand the current situation that the world has been going through (COVID 19) but we would like to request to be considered an exception. Our whole lives are in New Zealand. In Brazil we don’t have our own place, my daughters are away from school and I don’t have a job.

Me and our daughters went to New Zealand for Joel and we need to go back for him as well. We need to keep his memory and his dreams alive.

I lost the most precious part of my life. After 23 years waking up beside someone they become the reason why you want to keep dreaming. Without Joel this will be extremely hard to me but for him and for my daughters I have to keep moving and I ask for the chance of staying and living in the place that we chose together to call our home. 

We kindly ask your help; with your support I can ask for consideration to allow us the opportunity for my case to be reviewed so that I stay and continue to follow our and Joel’s dreams.

.Thank you so much.

Melyssa Nogueira Barcelos Palmeira

5th of May 2020