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Government to appeal immigration case

Government to appeal immigration case

The government is appealing the High Court ruling on the test case brought by the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI).

The case centred on changes in November 2002 to immigration policy requirements for the issue of Job Search Visas (JSV) and the Entrepreneur category of residence, where long-term business visas had been applied for but not granted at the time, Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said.

Last month, the High Court ruled that, despite relating to the grant of temporary entry (work) permits, the JSV was part of government residence policy. As a consequence it was not possible to change the policy in respect of those persons who had already made a residence application.

"It is necessary to appeal the decision as it blurs what has previously been a clear line between temporary entry policy and permanent residence policy.

"The JSV, which was originally developed by a previous government, was designed to allow highly skilled migrants to enter New Zealand to find a skilled job offer that would enable them to obtain points towards residence.

"Neither the government that developed the JSV policy nor I in implementing the policy after the 1999 election, ever intended or anticipated that it would be regarded as residence policy with the associated consequences in terms of the Immigration Act.

"This decision does not allow immigration policy to respond adequately to meet New Zealand's changing needs and the expectations of applicants, particularly in the short-term which is what temporary entry policy is all about. It is for this reason that the government believes that it must clarify in law that JSVs involve a matter of temporary entry not residence."

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