A man fighting to get his name removed from Immigration New Zealand's (INZ) list as a perpetrator of domestic violence says he is being "doubly victimised" for something he claims he did not do.
Sahil Nayyar, 29, had been accused by his ex-wife of domestic violence and had a protection order made against him.
The allegations were denied by Nayyar and a police investigation concluded with no charges being laid. The temporary protection order was also discharged by the Porirua District Court.
But his wife went on to successfully apply for residency under the Victims of Domestic Violence scheme.
INZ's Victims of Domestic Violence Policy allows former partners of a New Zealand citizen or resident to seek permanent residency on the basis the relationship ended because of domestic violence.
In the year ending July 2019, there were 66 residence applications under the Victims of Domestic Violence criteria, and 45 were approved.
Nayyar's wife's successful application meant his name got added to INZ's list of perpetrators of domestic violence and meant he would not be allowed to be a sponsor of future partners.
INZ said it did not require a conviction for evidence of domestic violence.
"It is absolutely unfair and I have been doubly victimised," said Nayyar.
"I have been through hell and I just want to get on with my life, but this makes it impossible for me to do so."
INZ reverses visa cancellation, grants residency to domestic violence victim
INZ cancels visa of abused pregnant mother after husband withdraws supports
Originally from India, Nayyar gained his residence visa under the Skilled Migrant Category in October 2014.
He said INZ was wrong to deem him ineligible to be a sponsor because he was not a perpetrator of domestic violence.
"My marriage this time didn't work out, and I have suffered for that," Nayyar said.
"But how can it be that I am not allowed to sponsor a future partner. I didn't break any law."
Nayyar and his wife entered into an arranged marriage and he sponsored her under the partnership category to come to New Zealand in April 2017.
However, they encountered problems in their marriage soon after and separated in October that year.
The wife alleged Nayyar had pulled her hair and threatened her and her family on several occasions.
Barely seven months into their relationship, she made a without notice application to the Family Court for a Protection Order.
Nayyar told police that his wife's family had interfered with their marriage too much, and he tried to stop her contact with them.
He and his family took his wife's phone off her "for her own good", he said, so the family would no longer be damaged by her mother's involvement.
Nayyar lodged a request to INZ to change his status as the perpetrator of an incident of domestic violence.
The agency responded in a letter saying it was not prepared to correct his status, and he will remain an ineligible sponsor.
INZ visa services manager Michael Carley said: "It remains that his former partner obtained residence under Domestic Violence policy and as such as a matter of government immigration policy, he is deemed to not be an eligible sponsor under the partnership category."
A person is entitled to request the correction of personal information they consider to be incorrect under the Privacy Act, and Nayyar made such a request.
Carley said the request was declined but a note had been added onto its database stating that he made the request.
The agency had also received a request from Nayyar's lawyer requesting an explanation for the letter's contents, Carley said.
"INZ is still considering our response to this request."