Jacinder Ardern government's plan for open work visa holders stuck overseas

Hao Zhang made this Official Information request to Kris Faafoi

Kris Faafoi did not have the information requested.

From: Hao Zhang

Dear Kris Faafoi,

Since border closure, many valid New Zealand open work visa (mainly post-study I believe) holders have been stuck overseas and many of them are desperate to go back to New Zealand to work. And I am one of these people.

As of now, almost a year has gone by, New Zealand government has not publicly given out any plan on how they are going to deal with this. These overseas open work visa holders are totally dependent on the decision or plan from New Zealand so that they can either wait for border reopening or go for other options about their life. Many of these people have seen their open work visas expired during this period of time while they can not do anything about it. This has caused deep frustration to us.

According to the visa requirement, the open work visa is available for those who have studied toward a certain qualification in New Zealand for as least a year. This means these open work visa holders have invested huge amount of time and money so that they can get the visa. The visa gives the holders the rights to stay in New Zealand.

But what is happening is the New Zealand government is silent about this. When many open work visa holders overseas are struggling with their lives in home country, they have to see their visa expired with deep frustration but hear nothing from New Zealand government. Their rights have been totally undermined.

Therefore, I am here to request the Minister of Immigration to give out the following information,

1.What is New Zealand government’s plan about these open work visa holders stuck overseas due to border closure? Are you going to extend the visa by certain length of time or what?

2.Since the border closure, how many open work visa holders stuck overseas (excluding those who were able to get back to New Zealand under border exceptions) have their open work visa expired as of now?

3.As for myself, I have successfully lodged my resident visa application under SMC while I am holding my open work visa. But due to border closure, I lost my skill employment because I am not exempted to get back to New Zealand. This skilled employment is a mandatory requirement for my application. Please kindly inform when my case is allocated to a officer to process, if my open work visa expire at that time and I still can not go back due to border closure, what decision will INZ make on my case?

Please kindly reply as these questions are important for me to make a decision.

Yours faithfully,

Hao Zhang

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From: K Faafoi (MIN)
Kris Faafoi

Kia ora,

On behalf of Hon Kris Faafoi, thank you for your email. 

While the Minister considers all correspondence to be important, and all
messages are carefully read and considered, it is not always possible to
personally reply to all emails.  As such, the following guidelines apply:

·        Invitations and meeting requests will be processed as soon as
possible and a staff member will be in contact with you in due course

·        All media queries will be responded to by a staff member

·        Requests for official information will be managed in accordance
with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982, which may
include transfer to a more relevant Minister or agency

·        If your email falls outside of the Minister’s portfolio
responsibilities, expresses a personal view, or is copied to multiple
Members of Parliament, then your opinion will be noted and your
correspondence may be transferred to another office, or there may be no
further response to you

Thank you for the taking the time to write.

Nga mihi,

Office of Hon Kris Faafoi

Minister of Justice, Minister of Immigration, Minister for Broadcasting
and Media

Private Bag 18041 | Parliament Buildings | Wellington 6160 | New Zealand

Authorised by Hon Kris Faafoi MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6011



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