Recently, Immigration Minister Iain Lees Galloway, refused to shed any further light on when the future of the Parent Visa Category will be decided – leaving over 5,000 parents of migrants and their New Zealand based families stuck in limbo for two years.
Aaron Martin shares his thoughts regarding the lack of closure, and his belief that this is merely a manipulation tactic to steer migrant votes at the end of the term.
In January we wrote an article regarding the Parent Visa category and the benefits it could bring to the country. The article was written in response to circulating headlines, hinting that a decision to the previously frozen category was close to being made.
Four months later, we are no further ahead.
Migrants are often used unfairly in political point scoring by both sides of the political spectrum, either to scare voters to oppose migration or in areas of high migrant communities to win votes.
Yesterday, it was reported that Immigration Minister, Iain Lees Galloway, refuses to shed any more light on when this decision might be made – leaving over 5,000 parents of migrants and their New Zealand based families stuck in limbo for two years.
Galloway did however say that the decision would be made before the end of the current government term – the final months of next year.
The visa category, which allows parents of migrants with 3+ years permanent New Zealand residency to also reside in the country, was put under a moratorium by the previous government in October 2016.
On Wednesday, the Education and Workforce Select Committee was advised that there were more than 5000 “expressions of interest” from parents wishing to reunite with their New Zealand based families. A single application could represent both parents, meaning the numbers of those in limbo would be significantly higher. Many of them would have already been well on their way through what was certain to be a successful application, before the moratorium was placed, pulling the rug from under their feet.
This does not show the “empathetic Government”, as promised by our current PM.
It shows the Labour Party stringing a carrot, ready to be dangled in front of voters at the end of their term.
It is simply cynical manipulation of recent migrants, hoping that their votes for Labour could lead to the favourable adjustment of the policy.
It’s a similar tactic deployed by the Australian Labour party, who recently announced a generous change to their Parent Visa policies, in order to win over the large migrant communities in Sydney – seats which are hotly contested.
The evidence from past election campaigns predicts that National are likely to match the promise… making migrants (yet again) a political football in the re-election game.
If you need help with visa or any other immigration law issues please do not hesitate to contact the team at NZIL.