Monday, 6 May 2019

Parent Visas

New Zealand stopped processing parent visas under the prior government. 

The background story you hear on it around town, which may or may not be the truth, is that there was concern that Chinese migrants who'd here received permanent residence would bring their elderly parents over to live in the Auckland Grammar zone and raise their kids, while heading back home to China to earn far more than they ever could earn here. End result: more pressure on the Grammar zone, no income tax revenue, and schooling costs. And, sometimes, PRs who'd abscond on their promised bond to support their parents and leave their parents here alone to struggle.

By that account, a few bad cases spoiled things for everybody else. I have absolutely no clue whether that story ever happened, or the frequency of it if it did, but I heard it enough times that it seems rather likely to have been part of the political reason for halting things.

Thomas Coughlan reports that more than 5000 parents are now in that queue.
Deputy Leader Winston Peters also said that the decision was that of the Minister of Immigration, but added remarks that implied he was unlikely to back the rule being reinstated.

“With the greatest respect, if I go to the United States I can’t bring Uncle Tom Coughlan and all,” Peters said, referring to this reporter's name. 
But that isn't quite right. American permanent residents who have naturalised (received citizenship) can petition for a grant of permanent residence for their parents.

And that might provide a solution to the impasse here. If I'm right about the background policy worry, allowing New Zealand citizens to petition for their parents' visas would knock out anyone who hadn't progressed from permanent residence to citizenship. I've not bothered with it yet but should likely get around to it. A permanent resident is eligible for citizenship if they've been living as a new Zealand resident for at least the last 5 years, and if they have spent at least 240 days in New Zealand in each of the past 5 years, and at least 1350 days across the 5 years. And you must intend on continuing to live in New Zealand.

That would rule out anyone who's established a nominal base here but who isn't really committed to the place. And it would likely finally have me tip over the line to finally sort out my own citizenship.

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