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Humanitarian Visa

Here we share some general information about Humanitarian policy. This material is for information purposes only. Contact one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers for personal immigration advice.

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Each person defines "humanitarian" differently. In New Zealand Immigration Policy, the term has a specific meaning, referring to certain carefully defined categories of people.

New Zealand adheres to a policy of accepting an annual quota of UNHCR-mandated refugees through bilateral agreements, which is not influenced by individual applicants and is not discussed here.

However, former refugees who have resettled in New Zealand may sponsor other family members.

Refugee Quota Family Reunification

In this policy, "Family" is limited to siblings, children, or parents.

Sponsorship Requirements: The sponsor must have been granted residence in New Zealand as a mandated refugee, be an immediate family member (sibling, parent, child) of the sponsored applicant, have attended an interview with a Refugee Quota Branch immigration officer, and have been deemed "acceptable."

Applicant Eligibility: The applicant must have an acceptable sponsor as defined above, must have been declared on the sponsor's original documentation or follow a special procedure, meet character and specific health requirements, convince an immigration officer of the credibility of the circumstances leading to separation from their sponsor, demonstrate that reunification will benefit the sponsor, and show potential for successful settlement.

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Refugee Family Support

In this policy, "Family" is defined more broadly.

In addition to the "Family Reunion" policy mentioned earlier, there is an annual quota for individuals who are not eligible under any other policy, to be sponsored by family members. Sponsors must first undergo a two-tier selection process. Proposed incoming family members must be identified and registered. There are limits on the number of registrations that can be submitted and the number of family members in each tier of the selection process at any given time.

The process is complex, and applicants typically seek assistance from professionals or skilled refugee support volunteers.

Victims Of People Trafficking

Individuals may qualify for residence if they have been trafficked and cannot safely return home due to ongoing risks such as danger, the threat of re-trafficking, significant social stigma, or severe financial hardship stemming from their trafficking experience.

Victims Of Domestic Violence

Individuals may be eligible for residence if their intention to seek residence in New Zealand based on a relationship has ended due to domestic violence affecting themselves or a dependent child. They must also demonstrate that returning home is not feasible due to stigma or lack of independent financial support from employment or other means.

General Comments

NZIHS does not normally offer services in regards to these policies other than by special arrangement.

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