New Zealand / Refugees And Migrants

Immigration lawyer urges government to act quickly on parent visas

13:20 pm on 5 May 2019

An immigration lawyer says the government should move quickly to lift the moratorium on the parent category visa, because families have been waiting too long for a decision.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway Photo: Supplied.

Last week, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said he was still considering the future of the visa.

He wouldn't give a time frame for when a decision would be made but said it would be before the next election.

Lawyer Aaron Martin said potentially thousands of families were being left in limbo, wondering how they would plan their lives with ageing parents.

"There's been indications that it was going to be done shortly after the election and it was supposed to be about midway through this year and now it seems to [be] becoming the carrot that's going to be dangled in front of a portion of the electorate prior to the next election," Mr Martin said.

The parent category visa was frozen by the National government in 2016. It allowed parents of migrants who had been permanent residents for more than three years to live here.

Immigration New Zealand last week said there was no evidence that people on parent category visas were taking advantage of social assistance.

It gave a submission to the Education and Workforce select committee on a petition by David Barker urging the government to lift the moratorium on the visa.