Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

New Returning Residents' Visa policy announced

The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel, says Cabinet has rescinded the previous Government's decision to grant indefinite Returning Residents' Visas (RRVs) to applicants from the moment residence is approved.

However, the Government will modify the current RRV policy to make it more flexible.

"The indefinite RRV as proposed gave residents an indefinite right of entry into New Zealand without having to demonstrate any commitment to New Zealand whatsoever," Lianne Dalziel said.

Residents, who are not yet New Zealand citizens but want to leave and re-enter the country, require RRVs. RRVs are necessary because all permits, including residence permits, expire when the holder leaves New Zealand.

The changes approved by Cabinet yesterday ensure migrants demonstrate a commitment to New Zealand, but they also allow for the flexibility that was missing from existing policy, the Minister said.

"The situation as it stands, is that time spent in New Zealand and/or tax residence are used to measure eligibility for indefinite RRVs. Quite often that can be confusing. I believe that demonstrated commitment to New Zealand should be the basis of the criteria," she said.

Commitment to New Zealand, and therefore eligibility for an indefinite RRV, will be characterised by:

 Time spent in New Zealand
 Holding tax residence status in New Zealand
 Maintaining an acceptable investment in New Zealand
 Establishing a business and/or
 Establishing a base in New Zealand.



RRVs valid for two years will continue to be issued to residents. At the end of that period, residents who have demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand will be issued with an indefinite RRV.

There is also additional flexibility for the New Zealand Immigration Service to issue an indefinite RRV in exceptional circumstances.

The changes will be operational by September 2000.

Lianne Dalziel said that the previous Government's proposal to remove the commitment concept from RRV policy would have meant people who were approved residence would not have been expected to even move to New Zealand to live.

"This means residence could have been used as an insurance policy in case there were adverse developments in the migrant's own country," Lianne Dalziel said.

"Another risk associated with the previous Government's policy was that rather than paying for their children as international students, parents would simply be able to apply for residence and with an indefinite RRV, would not even have to move here with the children," she said.

"Although there is little evidence of such freeloading, the indefinite RRV proposal would have significantly increased the opportunity for this to occur."

She said there was also the risk that migrants would have been able to access education, health and other Government-funded services later in life when they had spent most of their time living overseas.

"I am satisfied that the Cabinet decision has produced a much better approach than that announced by the previous Government. It provides the flexibility that was sought, without exposing New Zealand to the risks that the automatic indefinite RRVs created," Lianne Dalziel said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Remembrance: Anzac After Christchurch

A community group is creating The Sound of Peace, a crowdsourced soundscape that captures messages of peace from New Zealanders in their own voices and languages...

The Anzac Eve event, The Art of Remembrance with Kristin Darragh, is a concert and memorial service in the grounds of the historic St David’s Memorial Church in Uptown Auckland.

‘As we remember the lives lost in World War One, we remember the horrors of all wars, and the potential to reach out across the divides now to expand understanding and a sense of our shared humanity.’ More>>

 

NZ And France To Seek To End Use Of Social Media For Terrorism

New Zealand and France announced today that the two nations will bring together countries and tech companies in an attempt to bring to an end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism, in the wake of the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Attacks: Families Offered Option To Stay Permanently

Immigration New Zealand has created a special visa category for those directly impacted by the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood mosque, as well as their families. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Consent Granted For Queens Wharf Cruise Ship Upgrade

In its decision, released this afternoon, Auckland Council says that although the upgrade will have a "range of adverse effects on the environment, both during construction and operation", these can be managed to an "acceptable" level. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: Access To Hardship Grants Hits Record High

Figures from the Ministry of Social Development for the March 2019 Quarter showed that hardship assistance grants increased by $48 million in the past year... They also showed the emergency housing grants went from $6.6m to $23m, and there were 70,000 extra requests for assistance for food. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Scrapping The Capital Gains Tax

As PM Jacinda Arden said yesterday, there was no point in Labour bringing a proposal into the House that it didn’t have the votes to get passed. Looking back, maybe she always felt this outcome to be inevitable... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels