February 2020
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In this issue
The New Parent Residence Policy
SUCCESS STORY - Family Reunited
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I made a right decision choosing your firm "I appreciate your clarity you give to your clients through your emails. From my bottom of my heart I wish you a good and prosperous future. I confirm I made a right decision choosing your firm and lucky having you as our representative."  


Laurent Law Barristers & Solicitors
7A Maidstone Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland, 1021, New Zealand
Ph.  +64-9-630-0411;  Fax  +64-9-630-0412

Delays, delays, delays.  That is the recurring theme in the immigration scene these days.  Times for visas to be processed have ballooned out to 6 - 9 months for some temporary visa applications, and 12 - 18 months (or more) for Residence.
Immigration New Zealand claims that this is being made worse by significant patterns of fraud in the evidence supplied by applicants, from certain countries in particular (think India and the Philippines).  That may be so.
However, what is also clear that INZ tried to change too much, all at the same time, while facing a big upswing in demand.  It has fallen behind in managing its workflows.  I must ask whether the focus on stamping out fraud, which is supposedly eating up a lot of time and resources, is justified when the fraudsters are in a minority; and the large majority of honest applicants suffer disadvantage.
INZ's mantra for 2019 was "Striking the Balance".  It is time to consider a reset toward simply managing risk, rather than trying to stamp it out; delivering service to fee-paying customers; and enabling employers and universities to get on with business.

We continue to highlight current issues in our  law firm blog Subscribe to the blog in order to see up-to-date commentary on trends in the immigration field.

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Simon Laurent
LaurentLaw Barristers & Solicitors
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The New Parent Residence Policy

The new Instructions for NZ-based adult children to support their parents for Residence was released last week.  As we said in our previous newsletter, this scheme imposes high  income requirements for sponsors.  A single person wishing to support one parent for Residence must earn about $106K per year, or twice the national median wage.  A sponsor and partner who wish to combine their income to support 2 parents must earn $212K.  In addition, they must prove that they have earned at this level for 2 out of the last 3 years.
The gates open next week on 24 February for Expressions of Interest (EOI).  Only 1000 Resident Visas are available this year.  We read this to mean that if someone sponsors both their parents, that will use up 2 places.  So the rush will be on and we expect the quota to be filled very quickly.  INZ is set to issue Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Residence in May.
A nasty twist in the Policy is that, if both your parents could be included in a Parent Residence application, but you only elect to sponsor one of them, then the other parent will be deemed to be eligible for inclusion.  What follows from this is that, because of your income, you can only afford to support one parent to come over, the other parent cannot apply for Residence later under the Partnership category.  If people fail to realise this, it could result in one parent getting Residence while the other cannot join them in the future.  We can see some real trouble for families who are caught by this rule.
SUCCESS STORY - Family Reunited
A NZ Resident sponsored both parents for Residence, but the mother was ineligible on health grounds.  The father reapplied on his own on advice from INZ, but he claims that was not warned that he could not sponsor his wife for Partner Residence afterwards, because she ought to have been included in his own application.  A tricky visa rule, like that mentioned in the previous section on the new Parent Policy.

Sahar Shamia picked up the case after the mother was declined Residence again.  She filed an Appeal on the basis that the family presented special circumstances which justified making an exception.

The Immigration & Protection Tribunal agreed.  It saw that the NZ family was tight-knit and that the grandchildren would benefit from their grandmother's presence.  It also picked up the point that, unless the case was approved, it was unlikely that the mother could make a new application under the incoming Parent Instructions (which had yet to be published at the time).  The reason was that the NZ children did not earn enough to meet the high income thresholds - see above.

We can report that the Minister recently accepted the IPT's recommendation and a Resident Visa will be issued.
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