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Humanitarian Visa Information.

Here we share some general information about Humanitarian Visa policy. This does not replace or constitute immigration advice from a licensed immigration adviser.

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Humanitarian Visa Policy.

Each of us has our own view of what constitutes “humanitarian”. Still, in the context of New Zealand Immigration Policy, the term has specific meaning, relating to certain carefully defined classes of people.

New Zealand has a policy of accepting an annual quota of mandated UNHCR refugees. That is managed on a bilateral basis and is not subject to influence by individual applicants, so it is not discussed here.

However, former refugees, now settled in New Zealand, may sponsor other family members.

Refugee Quota Family Reunification.

In this policy, “Family” only refers to siblings, children, or parents.

  • Sponsorship Requirements. The sponsor must have been granted residence of New Zealand as a mandated refugee; be an immediate family member (sibling, parent, child) of the sponsored applicant; have attended an interview with a Refugee Quota Branch immigration officer and been deemed “acceptable”.

  • Applicant Eligibility. The applicant must have an acceptable sponsor (see above); must have been declared on the sponsor’s original documentation (or follow a special procedure); meet character and certain health requirements; must satisfy an immigration officer that the circumstances of separation from their sponsor are credible; that reunification will have a positive effect on the sponsor; and that there is potential for successful settlement.

Useful Information

The Malcolm Pacific Immigration team of advisers and experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complex world of International and Humanitarian visas, policy and immigration.

Refugee Family Support.

In this policy, “Family” refers to a wider definition of “Family”

In addition to the “Family Reunion” policy (above), there is an annual quota (presently 300) of persons not otherwise eligible under any other policy, to be sponsored by family members. Sponsors need first of all to be selected in a 2-tier process. Proposed incoming family members need to be identified and registered. There is a limit on how many registrations may be submitted and how many family members can be in each tier of the selection process at any given time.

The process is complicated, and applicants usually seek assistance, either from professionals or skilled refugee support volunteers.

Victims Of People Trafficking.

People may be considered for residence where they have been trafficked and are unable to return home because they are endangered, at risk of being re-trafficked, of suffering significant social stigma and financial hardship as a result of being trafficked.

Victims Of Domestic Violence.

People may be considered for residence if they intended to seek residence of New Zealand on the basis of a relationship, which has ended because of domestic violence to themselves or a dependent child, and they cannot return home because of the impacts of stigma, or because they have no means of independent financial support from employment or other means.

General Comments.

Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not normally offer services in regards to these policies other than by special arrangement.

We operate on a case-by-case basis

We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not usually offer services regarding Humanitarian Visas other than by special arrangement. However, our team is on standby, ready to help answer any questions you may have.

Latest News

Our team keep ahead of all the latest immigration developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.


The Green List

From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.

Read more here.

16 May 22

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
10 Feb 22

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

16 Dec 21

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