23-year-old Sukhwinder Singh was served a deportation order by Immigration officials in New Zealand on the day he was getting married to his 30-year-old live-in partner Carolyn Macey in Christchurch, NZ Herald reports.
Sukhwinder arrived in New Zealand on student visa in January 2014. After finishing his course, he started work as maintenance engineer at McDonalds.
In October 2014, Carolyn Macey became friends with Sukhwinder through Facebook and by year-end, they were a couple.
Carolyn, mother of a six-year-old boy, and Sukhwinder moved in together in January 2016.
He applied for a Work Visa, Partner category in March this year and to the couple’s surprise, was declined this visa in May.
The couple told NZ Herald they supplied bundles of supporting evidence, including bills, tenancy and rental agreements, and 20 letters of reference.
"We never thought we'd have to prove anything, we just had our usual life," said Macey.
Immigration NZ area manager Dave Campbell told Herald Singh's application was declined "as he did not demonstrate that he met the criteria under partnership policy to be granted a visa".
The couple decided to tie the knot on 22nd August to prove their relationship as genuine and committed one to immigration officials.
However, Immigration NZ officials reached couple’s home on Tuesday, August 22nd to take Sukhwinder into custody and put him on a plane back to India.
Sukwinder had just left home that day morning, around 7.30am to pick up Carolyn’s bridesmaid and within minutes of his leaving, he was shocked to get a phone call from Carolyn that two Immigration NZ officials were at the door to take him away.
He returned immediately and the couple informed the Immigration officials of their wedding plans and pleaded not to take him into custody as it was their wedding day.
Immigration NZ accepted their plea and later that day, Sukhwinder and Carolyn registered their marriage at the local registry office and had a small celebration at their home with family and friends.
Sukhwinder is now required to provide evidence of having booked his ticket by 3pm this Friday. He also must leave New Zealand by September 5.
Dave Campbell, Area Manager, Immigration NZ said, Sukhwinder “is currently unlawfully in New Zealand and was given the opportunity to make the appropriate arrangements to leave the country by the 5th September 2017 rather than being taken in to custody. (He) has agreed to do this and Immigration New Zealand will view his departure ticket on Friday (25 August)”.
With deportation orders in hand and with a deadline of departure date just days away, both Carolyn and Sukhwinder are upset and very confused about what to do next, including raising money for the plane ticket.
"We are in shock. What do we do next? It is very upsetting," Singh said.