It was announced Tuesday that New Zealand would provide 4,000 special visas to refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine if they had relatives in the country’s southern hemisphere.
A special visa category for overseas humanitarian workers, according to Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi, was the most popular special visa category New Zealand had seen in decades.
According to United Nations estimates, more than 2.8 million people have left Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24..
A two-year visa is being issued to persons who are fleeing the present turmoil and seeking refuge in the expectation that they will be allowed to return home after the war is over, Faafoi said.
Over the course of one year, the anticipated 1,600 Ukrainian-born citizens and residents of New Zealand will be permitted to sponsor family members for the special visa, which would enable them to work in the country.
Parents, grandparents, and their adult siblings or adult children, as well as their close family members, who have departed Ukraine are included in the scheme’s beneficiaries.
In a statement, the minister said, “New Zealand has responded fast to condemn the cruel and barbaric invasion of Ukraine.”
As part of its humanitarian assistance, New Zealand has pledged an additional NZ$4 million (US$2.7 million).
“In addition to other diplomatic steps, we have moved swiftly to react to Russia’s aggression by implementing travel restrictions and export controls, adopting the Russia Sanctions Act 2022, and giving relief funds to help critical humanitarian efforts,” the minister said. “