An interesting article recently appeared on news website Stuff, describing the situation of luxury private jet-owners wanting to travel with their crew and passengers in and out of New Zealand.
The article describes that the private jet market to New Zealand has been growing, from 44 aircraft in 2000 to a total of 391 visitors in 2015. The article explains that in around 10 to 15 years’ time these numbers could have doubled, particularly with planes from Asia, where there is a growing middle and upper class of premium travellers.
I find this all very interesting as I have never really thought of New Zealand too much as a private jet destination. Continue reading
The media has in the last week made much of the first human trafficking convictions in NZ. The article quotes well known immigration lawyer Richard Small as stating that the case is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’.
In another article, the headline reads The dark underbelly of human trafficking in New Zealand.
Although there could be thousands of ‘slaves’ in NZ working illegally and suffering systemic abuse, I’m sceptical enough to not expect any further court cases of this type in the foreseeable future, unless the media takes a more aggressive journalistic approach and reports strenuously and consistently on the issues they become aware of, until the politicians are embarrassed into demanding, and funding, action.
The NZ Government has just announced that South Africa is about to lose its visa-waiver status. From 21 November 2016, all South Africans must apply for a visa before visiting New Zealand. The privilege of being able to just walk on to a ‘plane from Joburg to Auckland is over.
How Did This Happen?
I can’t say I’m all that surprised. There are several factors that have conspired to bring this about:
- The increasingly desperate state of affairs in SA has encouraged people to come to “Look, See & Decide” in greater numbers;
- Immigration’s growing uneasiness about the numbers of people coming from South Africa who are clearly not just on holiday; and its perception, rightly or wrongly, that a number of them might do whatever it takes to avoid going back there;
- People have been fed a lot of bad advice about how to get into New Zealand and stay here. This extends to making false declarations about their intentions, such as saying that they are here to “holiday” when they are carrying invitations for job interviews from prospective employers in their luggage.
In July, I wrote about the Case of the Health Care Assistant. After an unnecessarily complex and expensive process by INZ which was eventually sorted out after a formal complaint, I’m delighted to confirm that our client has been granted her work visa.
Unfortunately, she, as does anyone who has a visa application declined, must in any future visa application to any country, admit she has had a NZ visa declined, which may raise character concerns. Coincidentally, while her case was in process, we were contacted by another major organisation in the health care field with an almost identical situation. As a result of that call, I presented a seminar to their staff and management on the issues involved, what is achievable, what is not, and why.
One of the more obscure Visa categories is the Transit Visa. This is a Visa required by people who are “transit passengers” and are intending to travel to and be in New Zealand only as a “transit passenger”. A “transit passenger” is defined in immigration instructions as persons who:
“arrive in New Zealand from another country while in transit to another overseas destination” and “throughout the entire period during which they are in New Zealand, remain on board the craft they came to New Zealand on, or in an immigration control area, or in the custody of the Police”.
When I first came across this Visa category I was surprised that some people require a Visa to even be in a New Zealand airport, let alone venture out past customs. There are however a number of exceptions. In effect, there are about 21 countries which the citizens of require a Transit Visa to enter a New Zealand, which are:
On Monday evening the Minister of Immigration spoke at a dinner hosted by the Immigration & Refugee Committee of the Auckland District Law Society (Inc.). Here are a couple of things that he talked about. It is also interesting to compare what follows with my comments on last year’s Ministerial dinner. In some respects, the more things change, the more they stay the same . . .
Lies, Damned Lies, and Immigration Statistics
While I am hardly an apologist for the Government, I agree with the Minister’s comment that the figures being bandied around about the supposed flood of migrants into New Zealand. I commented about this in a recent post, and I take heart from some common sense being talked by the likes of Nigel Latta.
“Help, I’m going to be deported! I have to leave the country tomorrow!”
We often hear a variation of this theme down the phone line. Someone calls up because Immigration Officers have turned up at their doorstep, they have been taken into custody, they have had a visa declined, or they get a letter from Immigration New Zealand telling them that they have to leave New Zealand. Any number of things can happen that trigger deportation liability, so no two situations are ever completely the same. We have seen a very noticeable increase in the number of people coming to us who are threatened with deportation – why is this the case?