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The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel, says Cabinet has rescinded the previous Government's decision to grant indefinite Returning Residents' Visas (RRVs) to applicants from the moment residence is approved.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

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels