Family Categories Applicants seeking permanent residence in New Zealand under the family categories, face major policy changes. As at 16 May 2012 the Sibling and Adult Child category ceased to exist. This effectively bars parents who have become New Zealand permanent residents or citizens, from sponsoring their adult children (those aged between 18-24 years), to come to New Zealand on the strength of the family connection. Likewise, individuals who have become permanent residents or citizens here, can no longer sponsor their brothers or sisters simply because they are family. Although the Sibling and Adult Child category required those being sponsored to secure employment before coming to New Zealand, the government found that only 66% of successful applicants remained in employment after being in New Zealand for 18 months. Also on 16 May 2012, the Parent category was suspended until July 2012. It is anticipated that future applications under this category will be prioritised according to the ability of applicants to generate their own income in New Zealand, or the ability of their sponsoring children to support them. Sponsorship obligations may be extended from five years to ten. h1. Mass immigration New Zealand currently does not have detention centres. The proposed Immigration Amendment Bill (‘the Bill’) could see an end to that with the introduction of mandatory detention for groups of ten or more migrants arriving by boat who seek refuge. To date, no refugees, commonly referred to as ‘illegal immigrants,’ have arrived in New Zealand by boat. However, the law is gearing up to protect our shores from being breached by the mass arrival of illegal immigrants (mass of course, referring to groups of ten or more). Initially, groups could be detained for up to 6 months. No announcements have been made regarding detention facilities or how long families (including women and children) may be reasonably expected to await a hearing after the initial 6 month period has expired. Under the new bill it would appear the Tampa refugees would receive the same treatment they did in Australia but whether New Zealand decides to follow suit remains to be seen. If you wish to make a submission, you can do so online at: “Parliament Submissions (Parliament Submissions)”The closing date is Friday, 8 June 2012.
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