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Government takes another look at partnership visas

directed his officials to come up with a solution so Indians aren’t unfairly excluded from receiving partnership visas.

The intervention has come after mounting anger and frustration from the Kiwi-Indian community at recent policy changes with some even walking away from the Labour Party.

In recent months, Immigration NZ adopted a tougher stance on the partnership visa category, insisting that couples have spent time living together in order to be eligible.

That makes it much more difficult for those in culturally-arranged marriages to bring their spouses to New Zealand.

Speaking to RNZ, Mr Lees-Galloway said the department had been “lawfully correct” to shift its approach to more strictly align with government policy.

But he said the change had clearly left many people, particularly Kiwi-Indians, worse off and prompted concern from community leaders and MPs.

Mr Lees-Galloway said, as such, he’d contacted Immigration New Zealand and asked it to consider other options “as soon as possible”.

“I’ve asked them to look at what is possible and to come back with options on how we can ensure that people who are in genuine, culturally arranged marriages have the opportunity to bring their partner to New Zealand,” he said.

“We value the Kiwi-Indian community. They make an enormous contribution to our society, to our communities, and to our economy. And I am hopeful that Immigration New Zealand will be able to find a solution.”

Prior to its shift in approach, Immigration NZ would grant general visitor visas to couples in arranged marriages to allow them to live together in New Zealand before applying under the partnership category.

But Mr Lees-Galloway said he doubted officials would simply revert to that position as they felt that contravened government policy.

Asked whether the government could just change its policy or instructions, Mr Lees-Galloway said that would take “quite some time”.

“I don’t think that that is what people are looking for. They’re looking for a faster solution than that.”

Sher Singh – who quit his Labour membership last month in protest of the policy – said Mr Lees-Galloway’s words gave him a glimmer of hope, but just that.

“There’s a difference between saying and doing,” he told RNZ.

“I want to see something solid … if there’s a plan in place and we see that in writing, then, yes, maybe I might think of going back [to Labour], but I can’t promise that.”

Immigration lawyer Alastair McClymont said Immigration NZ should never have changed its approach and it had taken too long for the minister to step in.

“Why has it taken a month? Well, it’s been because of the communities who have been lobbying their MPs, it’s because of the media running news stories.

“Do we need to wait for that to happen before the minister realises that his department [has] made a stuff-up?”

Mr McClymont said all the cases which had been declined over the past month should also now be reviewed and reconsidered.

New Zealand First likely would also act as a roadblock to any formal shift in policy as its leader Winston Peters recently old RNZ his party had influenced the tougher approach.

Speaking from Japan, Mr Peters said he’d hold off commenting in detail until after talking directly with Mr Lees-Galloway.

But he suggested any change in Immigration NZ’s approach would need to be signed off by his party.

“Until we see what that so-called ‘solution’ is and approve it, it will not be a fact,” Mr Peters told RNZ.

NZ First MP Shane Jones prompted outrage last month when he said Indian activists could “atch the next flight home” if they were not happy with the country’s immigration rules.

Mr Lees-Galloway declined to say whether Mr Jones’ remarks were appropriate or helpful.

“I’m not responsible for Shane Jones. He has to take responsibility for his own comments. But this government absolutely values the contribution that the Kiwi-Indian community makes to New Zealand.”

www.samigration.com

International travellers returning to Australia to be sent to quarantine facilities for two weeks

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has praised the response of Australians to the coronavirus pandemic as “simply magnificent”.

· Thousands of Australians returning to the country will be quarantined in hotels and other accommodation facilities for two weeks before being allowed to go home, under new measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the decision on Friday afternoon, saying the arrangement would ensure returned travellers complied with the self-quarantine requirements and limit the risk of them passing on COVID-19 to family members.

“If their home is in South Australia or in Perth or in Tasmania and they have arrived in Melbourne, they will be quarantining in Melbourne. If it’s in Sydney, it will be if Sydney. If it’s Brisbane, and so on,” Mr Morrison said.

The measure will effect all international travellers returning after midnight on Saturday.

Mr Morrison said the cost of the quarantining travellers in hotels and other facilities will be borne by the states and territories, with NSW expected to be the most affected.

“The greatest stress and strain will be in New South Wales because they have the highest number of [overseas] arrivals of any states and territories.”

Despite flights being slashed and travel bans in place in many countries, thousands of people continue to arrive in Australia.

On Thursday, more than 7,000 people landed at Australian airports from overseas.

The military will also be called in to help state and territory authorities enforce the self-isolation rules.

Nearly 300 people are being held at Sydney hotel Swissotel after returning on a Qantas chartered flight from Honolulu in Hawaii.

The strict quarantine measures took some of the travellers, who had already been quarantined on board a cruise ship in the US, by surprise with some complaining about “prison-like” conditions.

Mr Morrison said it was not necessary to step up lockdown measures at this stage, praising Australians who have heeded the message to stay home.

This Australian teacher in Wuhan has a message about COVID-19 for those back home

“Thank you for the way over the course of this week you have been responding to the very significant changes that we’ve been asking you to make to your lives and to your livelihoods,” Mr Morrison said.

However, Mr Morrison flagged further measures to assist Australian businesses as he warned more would be forced to shut down.

“Part of that plan that we will be announcing will be to seek to hibernate Australian businesses. This will be a very innovative approach in the circumstances we find ourselves in. We will have more to say about this.”

“…We want to ensure that as far as practicable that we continue to pursue this both from the health point of view and ensuring we minimise the impact on people, particularly economically.”

www.samigartion.com

International travellers returning to Australia to be sent to quarantine facilities for two weeks

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has praised the response of Australians to the coronavirus pandemic as “simply magnificent”.

· Thousands of Australians returning to the country will be quarantined in hotels and other accommodation facilities for two weeks before being allowed to go home, under new measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the decision on Friday afternoon, saying the arrangement would ensure returned travellers complied with the self-quarantine requirements and limit the risk of them passing on COVID-19 to family members.

“If their home is in South Australia or in Perth or in Tasmania and they have arrived in Melbourne, they will be quarantining in Melbourne. If it’s in Sydney, it will be if Sydney. If it’s Brisbane, and so on,” Mr Morrison said.

The measure will effect all international travellers returning after midnight on Saturday.

Mr Morrison said the cost of the quarantining travellers in hotels and other facilities will be borne by the states and territories, with NSW expected to be the most affected.

“The greatest stress and strain will be in New South Wales because they have the highest number of [overseas] arrivals of any states and territories.”

Despite flights being slashed and travel bans in place in many countries, thousands of people continue to arrive in Australia.

On Thursday, more than 7,000 people landed at Australian airports from overseas.

The military will also be called in to help state and territory authorities enforce the self-isolation rules.

Nearly 300 people are being held at Sydney hotel Swissotel after returning on a Qantas chartered flight from Honolulu in Hawaii.

The strict quarantine measures took some of the travellers, who had already been quarantined on board a cruise ship in the US, by surprise with some complaining about “prison-like” conditions.

Mr Morrison said it was not necessary to step up lockdown measures at this stage, praising Australians who have heeded the message to stay home.

This Australian teacher in Wuhan has a message about COVID-19 for those back home

“Thank you for the way over the course of this week you have been responding to the very significant changes that we’ve been asking you to make to your lives and to your livelihoods,” Mr Morrison said.

However, Mr Morrison flagged further measures to assist Australian businesses as he warned more would be forced to shut down.

“Part of that plan that we will be announcing will be to seek to hibernate Australian businesses. This will be a very innovative approach in the circumstances we find ourselves in. We will have more to say about this.”

“…We want to ensure that as far as practicable that we continue to pursue this both from the health point of view and ensuring we minimise the impact on people, particularly economically.”

www.samigartion.com

Rich, older South African men are buying Plan B passports in Europe in record numbers

Business Insider SA – 05 April 2020 The first half of 2018 saw a huge surge in applications from South Africans looking to buy their way into second passports, mostly in Europe, numbers from an advisory company show.

Mostly older men are securing passports from the likes of Malta and Cyprus – with cash.
But they’re not always looking to actually leave South Africa, says Henley & Partners.

In the first half of 2018 – after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Jacob Zuma as ANC president – it recorded a 229% year-on-year increase in applications from South Africans looking to buy their way into foreign citizenship or residency, Henley & Partners says. Henley & Partners is a global citizenship advisory firm, headquartered in London with more than 30 offices worldwide.

Some of those applications were from people who started looking into alternatives during 2017, pre Ramaphosa. But there was also a 143% year-on-year increase in enquiries about citizenship-by-investment in between January and August, Henley & Partners says.

But the majority of those people were not moving new money out of the country, nor leaving South Africa – not yet.

“Most of our clients were not looking to emigrate immediately, they are looking for an alternative, for an option, for if and when,” says Amanda Smit, head of Henley & Partners in east, central, and southern Africa.

Those clients are acquiring passports or residency rights mostly in Malta, Cyprus, Moldova, and Portugal. Unlike traditional immediate-emigration favourites such as Australia and the United States.

About 10% of those looking for a second passport are retired, and about half the rest are self-employed, Henley & Partners numbers for 2018 to date show. 80% are older than 45, and 85% are men. But only around 55% of the applicants are white, says Smit, after a distinct increase in black, coloured, and Indian applicants recently.

The only thing they really have in common is money, it seems.

“We have two types of clients,” says Smit. “The one is business people who travel a lot and who find visa restrictions extremely limiting and frustrating; they do it simply to obtain travel documents that give them greater mobility, that let them travel at short notice.

“The other type, the big majority, want a plan B because they are concerned about the economy or the political situation, worried what the education system will look like 10 years from now or if their children will be able to find work in South Africa.”

Most clients already have funds offshore, Smit says, and are simply looking to exploit that money to also land a passport, rather than moving lots of cash out of SA.

www.samigration.com

How to get British citizenship via double descent

British citizenship via the double descent route was a much talked about topic the past few months. However, there is still a lot of confusion about who can qualify.

Qualifying for British citizenship via double descent

Based on the Romein supreme court ruling, certain persons will be eligible to be registered as a British citizen, via the so-called ‘double descent’ route.

The previous 1948 Nationality Act stated that fathers who are British by descent could pass on their British citizenship to their children born outside the UK.

This would thus be persons born outside the UK but who obtained their citizenship through their parent being born inside the UK. This was subject to them registering the births within 12 months of the child being born. This rule meant that the 2nd generation born outside the UK could become British citizens.

However, the law did not provide the same for the British by descent mothers. The Romein court ruling has confirmed that this is discriminatory towards the female line. The law now provides for mothers who are British by descent to pass on their British nationality to their children born outside the United Kingdom.

Possible complications

Based on our independent research, as well as feedback on recent applications under this route, the qualifying criteria are for those who were born during (and in) what was characterised as a “Foreign Country”.

This includes South Africa during the period 31 May 1961 and 31 December 1982, the United States of America and most European countries. As such, birth in other countries would mean that you would likely not qualify. It is also important that if you were born outside these periods, you will also likely not qualify.

As this can be a complicated application, we highly recommend that you speak to one of our consultants for advice in your specific circumstances.

www.samigration.com

German government begins repatriation of citizens from SA

The German government on Friday started the repatriation of its citizens from South Africa.

Strict travel regulations had been in place since a 21-day nationwide Covid-19 lockdown was announced.

Previously, all flights were grounded, but the repatriation was permitted due to the revised regulations announced this week by the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula.

The German Embassy said on Thursday that about 5 000 German tourists were stuck in the country and they would be repatriated from Johannesburg and Cape Town by the South African Airways.

After several attempts to leave South Africa to return home to Berlin, German tourists Wolfgang Luckau and Inge Klaus, along with several other stranded German citizens, were instructed to gather at the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point on Friday. They were then bused to the Cape Town International airport, to fly back home.

Sitting on a curb in the parking lot in front of the stadium, Luckau, his partner Klaus and hundreds of other tourists filled out flight documents. They appeared tired and frustrated. This was their second attempt to fly back home since the national lockdown was implemented.

They were denied access to a designated flight on 26 March and had made several attempts to leave even sooner than that.

“We grabbed a taxi and chased back to Betty’s Bay. Fortunately, our accommodation was still available because the owners were very understanding, so at least we had a roof over our heads,” Luckau said.

Several tourists stood in the parking lot and the large grass area outside the stadium filling out forms, while those who had already completed the necessary paperwork formed a line at the stadium entrance, waiting to board one of several buses.

Luckau said there was a perception in South Africa that tourists were responsible for the spread of the coronavirus.

“Many South Africans kind of discriminate against European tourists at the moment because they believe that we brought the virus into the country, but that is absolutely not true,” he said.

South Africa recorded its first case of the virus on 5 March when a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife tested positive for Covid-19. They were part of a group of 10 people who went on a skiing trip to Italy.

“We, as tourists, we don’t bring the virus, we bring the money,” Luckau added.

He also expressed his gratitude to several local residents whose assistance made their departure possible.

Their flight departed at roughly 22:00 on Friday evening.

www.samigration.com

India Declares ‘Total’ Lockdown In Bid To Prioritize Coronavirus Fight

In a bid to stem the tide of the coronavirus, India has declared the world’s largest stay-at-home order yet in the fight against the global pandemic.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a 21-day lockdown during an address to the country Tuesday, instructing its more than 1.3 billion residents to stay right where they are, beginning at midnight Tuesday night.

“To save India and every Indian,” Modi said, according to an Associated Press translation, “there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes.

The prime minister outlined details of India’s response in a series of tweets published around the same time. He said the central government plans to put nearly $2 billion toward ramping up its health care infrastructure — including producing hospital beds, ventilators and other medical equipment. Medical workers will also be exempt from the stay-at-home order.

He also urged residents to “avoid any kind of rumor or superstition.”

The nationwide order comes after officials implemented similar measures in dozens of population hubs across the country, which boasts the world’s second-largest population. Cities that normally teem with crowds — such as the country’s capital, New Delhi — have gone eerily silent in recent days, as authorities tested curfew measures and domestic travel measures took effect.

Now, Modi and the central government are rolling out even more drastic rules — including the complete closure of commercial and private establishments, with few exceptions for services deemed essential.

So far, the country has dodged the worst of the global pandemic. It has reported hundreds of confirmed cases of the virus so far — far less than other countries, such as China, Italy and the U.S., which number their cases in the tens of thousands.

But these relatively low totals have not eased the concerns of global health officials, who said Monday that the progress of the pandemic in the coming weeks will be determined to a large degree by India’s preparations.

“The future of this pandemic, to a greater extent, will be determined by what happens in very large, highly populated, densely populated countries,” said Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s head of emergencies.

“So it’s really, really important that India continues to take aggressive action at the public health level and at the level of society to contain, control, suppress this disease — and to save lives.”

www.samigration.com

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