A New Zealand woman says she has suffered two miscarriages, lost three jobs and her house - but she is not giving up hope on being reunited with her husband despite his visa being declined four times.

New Zealand citizen Sofia Ali Malik, 40, originally from Fiji, met her Indian husband Inamul Haque, 29, on Facebook in September 2015.

Both are devout Muslims and fell in love after they began talking and found they had "common values".

But Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has repeatedly refused Haque's visa applications, saying the couple have not proved they are in a genuine relationship together.


The couple insist, however, their relationship is genuine and say it has the support of families from both sides. They are appealing to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

"The battle to prove our love and relationship seems endless with INZ, but we don't know what else we can do," Malik said.

"We are now putting our faith in the new Immigration Minister and hope that he will have a heart."

Malik, who has two children from a previous marriage, felt that Haque - who teaches the Koran - would be a good role model for them.

Haque applied for a culturally arranged marriage visitors visa in December 2015, which would allow him to come and marry Malik within three months and would then have applied for a 12-month work visa after living together.

But INZ officials did not believe their relationship was genuine, and the application was rejected.

Haque tried again four months later, but was again declined.

The couple then went to Fiji to get married in 2016, and a pregnant Malik returned to Auckland a few months later - and had a miscarriage.

They applied for a partnership visa in their third application - but this was again declined.

They made another trip to Fiji, and Malik suffered another miscarriage when she returned to Auckland from that trip.

Inamul Hasque married his sweetheart in Fiji in 2016 after INZ said it did not believe their relationship was genuine, also rejecting further applications in a painful three-year battle for the couple. Photo / Supplied
Inamul Hasque married his sweetheart in Fiji in 2016 after INZ said it did not believe their relationship was genuine, also rejecting further applications in a painful three-year battle for the couple. Photo / Supplied

In their three-year battle, Malik - a trained accountant - said she had lost her home - and was living in a car for a while - and also struggled to hold on to any job.

"Thinking about immigration gives me shakes, so I get very shaky at times. Because of this stress I have lost two pregnancies," Malik said.

"It's affecting me very badly and when my daughter sees that, it affects her as well ... she cries with me."

Haque is currently in Delhi, and told the Herald via Skype that he too was suffering from extreme anxiety.

"My heartbeat gets very high and my brain feels numb when I realise my wife is not with me," he said.

"It is affecting me deeply. I feel down all time, being not given a chance to live with my family in NZ."

Haque said he has had suicidal thoughts, but feels better when he speaks to Malik.

Dr Jon Wilcox, of Glenfield Doctors, who has attended to many immigration clients, said it was "most definitely" possible for a woman to miscarry due to stress.

"Impossible to prove of course but severe stress has dramatic effects on our immune system via cortisol fatigue and natural cortisol is a requirement for a healthy pregnancy," Wilcox said.

"The same applies to contracting illnesses such as gastrointestinal ulceration and shingles due to stress. I think in cases of true miscarriage - loss of a viable pregnancy with a heartbeat - stress is certainly a potential causal factor, for sure."

An INZ spokeswoman said she was sorry to hear about the issues being experienced by Malik.

"We understand that she is not happy with our decision," she said.

"However, INZ has accurately applied the Immigration Instructions to Mr Haque's application and on four occasions has made the decision to decline."

The spokeswoman said the previous Immigration Minister had also declined to intervene in the case.

"On each of his applications Mr Haque failed to provide sufficient evidence that his relationship with Ms Malik was genuine and stable," she said.

The first application in December 2015 was for a culturally arranged marriage, but the pair met via social media and the marriage was not arranged between their families.

The agency also noted that the couple had only met in person for a short time and had not lived together for a substantial period when the second application was made in August 2016.

"We also declined Mr Haque's application of March 2016, as there were doubts around his incentives to return to his own country once his visa expired," the spokeswoman said.

"We gave Mr Haque the same reason for declining his latest application, in September 2017."

She said Haque could reapply if he had new information about their relationship.

"However, as he is not in New Zealand, he doesn't have the right to appeal our decision," the spokeswoman added.

The couple are planning to lodge a second ministerial appeal after failing to get anywhere with the Ombudsman.