In October 2016 the previous government put a hold on the issuing of parent residence visa applications. The moratorium was meant to last 2 years to allow a review of policy. The queue of Parents who have filed an Expression of Interest in joining their families is now estimated to be over 10,000.
Behind these numbers lie so much family upset and pain. There have been multiple promises of quick decisions about what to do with this backlog but nothing ever seems to come of it.
An Immigration NZ policy manager told the Parliament’s Education and Workforce Select Committee in May the parent visa category existed to make New Zealand an attractive destination to skilled migrants, who would be more likely to choose New Zealand over other countries if they were able to migrate with their parents.
Data collected by Immigration NZ showed few parents went on to claim benefits in the first years of their residency. No parents on the visa had claimed benefits in the first two years of being resident in New Zealand, and one per cent claimed benefits after being in New Zealand between two and five years.
The Minister said publicly on 23 August a decision will be “made soon”. If the government reopens EOI selection those already in the pool will hopefully be among the first to hear about it. Of course, the decision maybe to close the policy altogether or keep deferring and that will result in disappointment and heartache to a lot of people. As soon as we have news to share we will.