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My name is Waqas Ahmad; I identify myself as a Pakistani New Zealander, who is now a New Zealand citizen. I was born in Pakistan, where my family, relatives, and ancestry originate from. Before I became a New Zealander, I experienced a challenging resettlement journey that took all of four and half years. It started in February 2013 when I was forced to flee from Pakistan to Thailand, because of the ongoing Discrimination from the Government towards our Ahmadiyya Community. We sought asylum for resettlement opportunities in the third country of resettlement and ended up in New Zealand.

My family and I became New Zealanders in September 2016, when we received a permanent resident visa whilst waiting in Bangkok Thailand. This was a part of the UNHCR policy that ended a person’s status as a refugee, transitioning them to a permanent resident in their new country. This is when my family and I became New Zealanders. In 2016 My brother and I created an organization while being a refugee in the country. We empowered more than 150 refugees in 6 months’ time. All those refugees are now earning and working remotely.

When we arrived in Aotearoa, New Zealand, in 2017. I knew few things about New Zealand when I came here. It consists of a total of two islands North and South, and I always wanted to travel to Queenstown which I have not yet.
I like New Zealand because of the opportunity I have received socially and economically, which has allowed me to develop my career. I have invested time to build a UX(User Experience) design Agency from Scratch. I am the C.E.O of this company and it has already three offices in the world. One is in Bangkok second is in London United Kingdon and the third one is in Auckland New Zealand.

What I do not like about New Zealand is the discriminatory Immigration system towards people from a third-world country. If you got married or If you like to sponsor any of your relatives or friends it is next to impossible to invite them to New Zealand.

The challenge I faced in my settlement and integration process was bringing my wife to New Zealand. It took me more than 2 years to bring my wife here to New Zealand. Where I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in immigration feeses, Immigration lawyers feeses and travel expenses where I have to be with my partner for several months to prove my relationship to immigration New Zealand. It took me more than eight applications which six declined 1 in a hold and finally the eighth one was successful. I became overjoyed with happiness when I brought my wife to New Zealand in February 2021.

I miss my homeland, Pakistan. Its beautiful landscape, people, families, relatives, friends, Desi food, Baitul Aqsa Mosque, fresh fruits such as Mangoes, Oranges, and the many animals and birds. For example, I miss buffaloes which my father had and we used to get fresh milk and butter.

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