A 7-year-old Cambodian girl received an emotional welcome from her Kiwi family in Auckland yesterday after they were reunited for the first time in New Zealand since 2009.
Jendah Dyer, who suffers from a development delay disorder, had previously been deemed too sick to be issued a visa to enter the country.
Paeroa couple Grahame and Kathryn adopted her in 2011, but had been told by the Department of Internal Affairs that she would not be granted citizenship as the department did not recognise adoption processes carried out under Cambodian law before 2012.
Immigration New Zealand agreed to grant her a nine-month visa following a directive from Associate Immigration Minister Nikki Kaye.
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Jendah flew out of Phnom Penh with Mrs Dyer on Monday - the same day her visa was approved by Immigration New Zealand - and was met with hugs in Auckland by Mr Dyer and her siblings Sam, 11, and Carla, 13, who returned to New Zealand last month after Mr Dyer's father died.
Mrs Dyer had to remain in Cambodia with Jendah.
"It's just fantastic to get this nine months - it gives us time to get things sorted and plan to get Jendah here with us permanently," Mrs Dyer said.
Mrs Dyer said the family will seek advice on whether to re-apply for citizenship or permanent residence.
Mr and Mrs Dyer had been working in Cambodia as aid workers since 2004.