A letter to the New Zealand Government

To the Right Hon. Jacinda Adern and the Hon. Iain Lees-Galloway,

Welcome to Government. I am looking forward to the next 100 days. I am hoping some of rank injustice created by your predecessors will be swept away.

You said your Government will be empathetic. I am hoping you’ll have some empathy for those New Zealanders whose parents have been left in limbo since the National Government’s cancellation of the Parent Category.

A large number parents started application processes knowing they met the criteria for residence. The criteria were certain; the process predictable – albeit it a bit long. There was no hint that the rug would be pulled from under their feet.

Since then they have shuffled back and forth between New Zealand and a place they no longer regard as home because the children and grand-children are here. The stress and uncertainty has been significant. All they want is to know what is to become of them.

Your coalition partner might be critical of the parent category for allowing a group of people access to pensions when they have not contributed. But that is an issue of welfare reform not a failure of immigration policy.

It’s also not a reason to do leave things as they are.

The other injustice is the interim visa expiry date rule. At present the rule means a visa expires as soon as a decision is made. If that decision is to decline the visa and the old visa has already expired, the applicant becomes an overstayer 1 day later.

The rule renders people unlawful when they have no desire to become so.

If they wish to depart they do so with a stain on their immigration history as it is often impossible to arrange a departure within 24 hours of the decision especially after several years here.

From an administrative perspective it is creating a balloon of requests for visas that is creating unnecessary work for your Immigration Officers.

Finally, please let us know what is going to be done in regard the work visa right for international students. We are all expecting some change here. Given the impact this change will have on the export education sector and those already here, certainty is needed – quickly.

Aaron Martin

Principal Layer NZIL

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