New Zealand announces changes to family immigration rules
New Zealand’s immigration minister has announced that changes to family policies will help attract more skilled workers to the country and save taxpayers $40 million a year. Nathan Guy added that the family members of foreigners making a real contribution to New Zealand will be fast-tracked, and that the new system will ensure they are better settled in the country.
A new two-tiered system for the parents of skilled migrants who have residency status in NZ will begin, in which those who are being sponsored or who have their own income will be processed first. However, those with poor English will need to pay for tuition in advance of arrival.
The Adult Children and Siblings categories were also closed yesterday, meaning there will be less of a drain on the public purse, according to Nathan Guy. Although a job offer is required to gain residency in New Zealand, research has suggested that 66 per cent of siblings and adult children fail to find a job in the first 18 months of arrival, with many of them ending up on benefits eventually.
Instead, adult children aged between 18 and 20 will be eligible to apply for residency permits as long as they were declared on their parents’ application, are single and have no children of their own. This now applies even if they have a job in their home country. However, adult children aged between 21 and 24 will have to show that they have enough money to support themselves if they wish to come to the country.
The government has also announced its plans to amend the sponsorship rules in the Immigration Act 2009 at some point in the future to extend the period of support from five to 10 years. Sponsors must make sure their charges have accommodation and maintenance and must pay for deportation or repatriation if required.
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