A Korean woman will be kicked out of New Zealand after being refused a student visa because she is pregnant – despite being willing to pay for her maternity care.
Sung Won Kim, 31, and her partner arrived on visitors' permits in March.
In April, she applied for a student permit which was declined because she was pregnant, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said.
He said it would be different if Ms Kim already had a student visa.
"It is also simply not true that if a woman who is already studying in New Zealand on a student permit becomes pregnant they are automatically required to leave the country.
"Each case would have to be considered on its own circumstances."
It was immigration policy not to grant student permits to pregnant women because it puts "extra strain on the health system," he said.
Today the Immigration Minister spoke to clear up some misconceptions about the case.
On behalf of the New Zealand immigration department, Dr Coleman has explained that the inaccuracies in the story have lead to a false view of the New Zealand immigration policy towards pregnancy.
"It has been reported that Sung Won Kim is in New Zealand on a student visa. That in fact is not the case. Sung Won Kim and her partner entered New Zealand and were granted visitors' permits in March. She applied in April for a student permit which was declined because she was pregnant," Dr Coleman said.
He further explained that New Zealand student permit holders are not required to leave the country, as contrarily described in the media this month, and that each New Zealand visa application is taken on a case-by-case basis.
However, New Zealand student permits are not granted to pregnant women because not only their study be inhibited during the term of their pregnancy and thereafter, but they will also place strain on the healthcare system and resources. Despite offers to pay for healthcare services associated with pregnancies, the Government cannot afford to have an open healthcare and visa policy for foreigners on a New Zealand visitor's permit.
And, since we're here, South Korea and New Zealand are currently working on a Free Trade Agreement.