Migrant Lives Matter Event - 25 July
The team of five million successful in beating Covid-19 also consists of about 350,000 temporary visa holding migrants.
About 42,000 temporary visa workers are stranded overseas due to Aotearoa's border closure. Many have NZ born children and all their personal belongings here. Their future is uncertain as they continue to pay rent and bills in NZ as well in the countries they are stuck in. In the meantime, these workers have been replaced because their employers can't wait forever.
Visa workers in NZ are not any better. Most have their work visas attached to their jobs. Cuts due to the economic downturn have left many without jobs. No job means no visa for these workers. They have no source of income and they are not eligible for benefits.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many migrants took to the streets to oppose INZ’s unacceptably long visa processing times. The issue of visa processing delays remains largely unresolved.
Therefore we demand
1) All temporary visa holders stranded offshore are given visa extensions equal to the duration of border closure
2) All visas attached to employers are opened so that migrants have the flexibility to work wherever they can find jobs
3) Emergency benefits are provided to all jobless migrants onshore and offshore by enacting section 64 of the Social Security Act
4) Visa processing delays are minimised with immediate effect