The new one-off residency pathway will ensure 165,000 migrants can put down roots, and have security about their future in Aotearoa. But many have been left out, including essential workers, those who have strong roots in the community, and those who simply switched visas due to the long residency queues. Together, we have an opportunity to do justice for our communities who have been left behind.
In the open letter that we launched in April 2021, we asked Minister Faafoi to ensure there are clear and achievable pathways for all migrants to gain residency, including transparent and honest communication with temporary visa holders to enable their transition to permanent residence.
The one-off residency programme goes a long way towards that, but now we want this pathway to become as broad as possible to include all of our migrant communities and ensure nobody is left behind.
Expanding the 2021 Resident Visa to include all migrants would include, but not be limited to:
- People who are discriminated against because of the ableist health requirements
- Student Visa holders and partnership visa holders
- Holders of Special Work Visas, Specific Purpose Work Visas, Supplementary Seasonal Employer Visas, Working Holiday Visas, RSE Visas, and any visa with open work rights
- Parents of primary applicants, and Guardian Visa holders
- Parents who are onshore and are looking after their mokopuna
- Visa-holders stuck offshore who already had roots in the community
- Essential workers who are earning less than $27 per hour
We also ask that split migrant families be allowed to apply in the first phase from 1 December 2021 to fast-track their reunion and that the Government provide pathways to residency for overstayers.
Expanding the 2021 Resident Visa to include all migrants would:
- Provide security for migrants who face uncertainty about the future due to the pandemic.
- Reduce worker exploitation by giving people the ability to move more freely between jobs.
- Enable employers to retain workers and provide pathways for career progression.
- Ensure that more people onshore are able to access the required support to respond to the effects of COVID-19.
The 2021 Resident Visa is a big win and a huge step forward, but now’s the time to go even further for migrant communities. Sign on in support, and help us show the Government how much support there is for expanding the eligibility.