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Last Month For Transitional Policy Applications

Overstayers who believe they may be entitled to stay in New Zealand under the October 2000 Transition Policy, have one month left to lodge their applications.

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel today reminded long-term and well-settled overstayers who wanted apply under the one-off measure policy, that the deadline for applications is 30 March 2001.

So far, 2887 people have applied and the Minister is keen to see that those people eligible to apply do not miss out on the chance to regularise their status.

“This is a once only opportunity,” the Minister said, “and I urge community leaders, and those who have already applied, to let everyone know that time is running out.

"People eligible under this policy include 'well-settled' overstayers who arrived before 1 October 1999. It also applies to people with well-established family links such as a New Zealand spouse or New Zealand-born child.

The Minister said that failed refugee status claimants, who are excluded from the Transitional Policy, and who had written to her seeking regularisation of their status, would be notified soon as to whether she has approved or declined their applications.

“The majority of those who wrote to me seeking my personal intervention in their cases would not have qualified under the Transitional Policy anyway, and I am not prepared to advantage them ahead of others who do not qualify,” the Minister said.

“For those and any others who do not qualify, it is now in their best interests to leave New Zealand as soon as possible, or face removal by the New Zealand Immigration Service and an automatic five-year ban on being allowed back into the country. The five-year ban is also automatic if people fail to leave within seven days of being notified of a Removal Review Authority (RRA) decision.

"During the last week of September 2000, 1060 appeals were lodged with the Removal Review Authority, compared with 710 appeals lodged during the year 1999-2000.

"As evidenced by the number of last minute appeals lodged with the RRA in September, I am also expecting a rush of Transitional Policy applications during March."


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