Flying at 31 weeks pregnant
Kirsten Ferguson replies:
QuestionMy mother in law is telling me we need to check before booking tickets for our flight that I will be allowed into the country if I am pregnant. I will be 31 weeks pregnant. The airline requires a doctors note which I can get and our insurance company knows we intend to travel.
My husband grew up in NZ and his parents and siblings still live there - he is not a resident however. My mother in law claims the NZ authorities may think I am trying to gain citizenship for the baby and intend to stay until after it is born. Could you clarify for me if there will be an issue?
husband who grew up in NZ and whose parents and siblings still live there - he is not a resident).
You should firstly consider whether you are able to gain entry to New Zealand. To gain entry as a “visitor”, you must be a genuine visitor to New Zealand. This means that you must intend only to stay in New Zealand for a temporary period of time and for a lawful purpose. A lawful purpose includes holidaying, visiting family etc.
However, visa eligibility also requires that you are of an “acceptable standard of health”. The authorities may consider your pregnancy in relation to this criteria. This is because if something occurred in relation to your pregnancy while you were in New Zealand, you might impose significant costs and demands on New Zealand’s health services. The fact that you intend to travel later in your pregnancy may be taken into account in this regard.
A return fare may help to indicate that you are a genuine visitor and that you do not intend to give birth in New Zealand.
In regards to the comments about citizenship, the following would likely apply to your situation. Children born in New Zealand after 2006 will acquire New Zealand citizenship at birth only if at least one of their parents is a New Zealand citizen, has permanent residency (i.e. entitled to be in New Zealand or Australia permanently), or is entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Tokelau, or Nuie. You have indicated that neither you nor your husband are New Zealand citizens or residents. If that is the case, any child born will be deemed to have the same immigration status as the most favorable status of either yourself or your husband (ie. likely to be a visitor permit).
I hope this helps. All the best with the birth of your child.
LLB(Hons) BA (Hons)