Residency struggle for Pacific immigrants

A new two-tier immigration system that favours the wealthy means that fewer Pacific Island migrants may be able to gain New Zealand residency.

The government will scrap the sibling and adult child immigration categories to “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”, according to a cabinet paper leaked to the Labour Party.

Parents will no longer be able to bring in dependent children, another change that will make gaining residency more difficult for them.

Residency applications will be fast-tracked for parents with children already in New Zealand, if they have guaranteed funds or income, or if their child-sponsors are high-income people.

The sponsorship level to cover applicants will be about $30,000, Immigration Minister Nathan Guy has indicated.

This has raised concerns that Pacific Island immigrants who may not have access to such amounts of money, could be disadvantaged.

Prime Minister John Key expressed confidence that the government has struck the right balance “to ensure that those that come to New Zealand can be relatively self-sufficient”.  He said that discussion is necessary with other governments before the policy can be put in place, as there are  complications with some countries. 



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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