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Desperate Ukrainian families can’t wait for Govt

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 09 March 2022 -

Desperate Ukrainian families can’t wait for Govt

It’s been 14 days since Russian bombs started falling on Ukraine, yet the Government has done nothing to expedite visas for wider family members of Kiwi-based Ukrainians, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Desperate Ukrainians in New Zealand have been unable to rescue wider family members because Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has not created a visa pathway to let them come to New Zealand.

“We now know the reason they can’t find application forms or information about how to apply – because it doesn’t exist.

“Last week, National urged the Government to create a special humanitarian visa for wider family members of Ukrainians who have settled in New Zealand.

“We called for this visa because we know there is no ability for wider family members to use the compassionate entry criteria of existing visas after Minister Faafoi last year changed the rules to exclude humanitarian crises occurring outside of New Zealand.

“Other countries have been able to fast-track family members fleeing the war, yet New Zealand is lagging behind.

“The Government has been slow to introduce sanctions against Russia and now Minister Faafoi is working at a glacial pace on getting visa options in place to bring the wider family members of Ukrainians to New Zealand.

“His announcement yesterday failed to help a large number of Ukrainians who need our support to bring their parents, brothers and sisters and other family members to New Zealand.

“Minister Faafoi’s inaction has increased the already huge stress placed on Ukrainian communities in New Zealand. We urge the Government to make our call for a humanitarian visa a priority.”


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