People’s Party to revisit Immigration regime

Venkat Raman

The New Zealand People’s Party (NPP) seeks major changes to the country’s immigration regime, making it more responsive to the needs of the economy, appropriately aligned with the aspiration of the people.

The Party’s Immigration Policy, announced on July 7, 2017 (and carried in full without our commentary under ‘Latest Stories’ in our Web Edition of that date and subsequent appearance in the Social Media), seeks a fair and pragmatic solutions to the existing anomalies without compromising principles of quality and values.

At the start of the Party’s immigration portfolio is the need to minimise resettlement stress suffered by most new migrants, an integral part of which is to revamp the ‘Family Reunion Category,’ allowing migrants to bring their families to New Zealand.

“We want to change the system so that it is easier for families to be together whilst bringing prosperity to the economy,” the Policy says.

Family Reunification

The Party has pledged to reopen the ‘Family Reunification Visa,’ closed by the current government in 2012, saying that this category was a ‘victim of its own success.’

NPP’s policy will provide Immigration New Zealand (INL) the requisite resources to process these visas within a reasonable time and grant two-year work visas to successful applicants, with the applicants providing an undertaking that they will either have their own financial resources of that of their families to support.

“When families are all together in New Zealand it becomes very hard to keep assets left behind secure. This will lead to families transferring all their wealth to New Zealand. In conjunction with this, the need to send money offshore disappears. Keeping this wealth in New Zealand will allow it to be reinvested in the economy,” the Policy said.

International students

Recognising the importance of export education that provides increasing earnings from overseas, the NPP Policy aims to attract the right students with the right purpose and right motives, following the right path.

The Policy will require all education agents to obtain a licence with stringent standards of quality, integrity and honesty, akin to that of Immigration Advisors.

It also seeks to end the social evils that the current export education generates and clean up the system.

“Students are sold New Zealand education programmes on the perception that it is a pathway to permanent residence. Families put themselves in massive debt to send their children to study in New Zealand. We want to end their exploitation by unscrupulous providers, employers and politicians alike. New Zealand needs to honour its commitments and be held accountable,” the Policy states.

“All students currently in New Zealand will have their education provider and course evaluated. Students found to be in low quality courses will be granted a two-year work permit with a requirement to become qualified in a Skilled Migrant Category occupation or an occupation on the Skilled Shortage Lists. Visa extensions will be granted to students who need more time to complete the required study.”

Visitor Visas

Visitor Visa category will also change if the NPP has an opportunity to enforce it.

“Our system will provide for automatic grant of any visitor visa sponsored by a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident, with a clean sponsorship history. INZ will retain the ability to decline these visas in situations where they believe the application is not genuine. Making the visitor visa sponsorship process more inclusive can only benefit the community.

Sponsors putting the personal and financial reputation on the line will be less likely to turn a blind eye to over stayers. While making it easier for families to be together in times of celebration or loss, this category will grow stronger communities.

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