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Government may appeal court decision

Government may appeal court decision

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said today that the government is considering an appeal of the High Court decision relating to a case taken by the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment.

The NZAMI challenged two technical aspects of a number of policy changes introduced in November 2002, but the High Court only upheld one of the aspects.

“The High Court has found that as a matter of statutory interpretation, the Job Search Visa (JSV) is part of government residence policy.

“However, neither the government of the day (National 1999) nor I when I was asked to reconfirm the policy prior to its introduction (January 2000), had any intention of including JSV within government residence policy.

“The intention of the JSV was to allow the NZ Immigration Service to be able to invite people to apply for a JSV when they were within five points of qualifying for residence under the general skills category.

“Naturally, the individuals concerned had to meet temporary entry policy in order to be offered a JSV, which was for a maximum of six months. Where the individual did not find the required job within that period, they could not apply for any other permit to remain in New Zealand and their residence application would be declined.

“Justice Randerson rejected NZAMI’s second argument that government residence policy could not be changed with respect to people who had applied for work visas to set up businesses under the Long Term Business policy, in the hope of later meeting residence criteria under the Entrepreneur category,” Lianne Dalziel said.

Lianne Dalziel’s address to Auckland District Law Society’s immigration sub-committee, this evening, illustrated the problem:

“I received a letter from a man who is here on a Job Search Visa from India. His visa expires in September, but he’s already booked to go home. That is the result of the multiple job rejections he has already experienced. He speaks of meeting other Indians, 95% of whom he has met working in menial jobs, despite being highly qualified. He tells me that many had to underplay their qualifications to get jobs they are grossly over-qualified for. He is going home, because he has pride. “He is willing to take a step down, but he is not prepared to go to the bottom of the ladder and try to climb his way back to where he is now. He says:

“In my case, I am almost ruined. I left my Class-1 Engineer post in India, and I have already spent about ½ a million rupees. Even I had to ask my son in the UK to send some money meant for his studies.”

“This is only one of many letters my colleagues and I receive, where people truly believed life would improve when they came to New Zealand, but they have experienced rejection and disappointment.

“Some consultants ensure their clients arrive with realistic expectations and others have post arrival settlement services. However, the vast majority see their role as ended once the visa or permit is stamped in the passport. No government can afford such an approach to immigration policy.”

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