New temporary visa for family of Ukrainians in New Zealand: 2022 Special Ukraine Visa

Sponsors need to be permanently in New Zealand

The most notable caveat is that only Ukrainians living permanently in New Zealand can sponsor their families. Therefore, many Ukrainians, who have had temporary visas for many years, cannot sponsor their family members.

Does not confer refugee status

The 2022 Special Ukraine Visa also does not provide refugee or protected person status. Therefore, the applicants receive limited protection.

Benefits

The temporary visa does reunite family members for two years. It also provides work rights for those over 18, and study rights for those under 18.

Process

Applications for the 2022 Special Ukraine Visa, can only be made by the applicant after they have been invited to apply by Immigration New Zealand.

Requirements

A sponsor can support their parents, grandparents, siblings, or adult children for the 2022 Special Ukraine Visa.

Who can be a sponsor?

The sponsor must meet the following criteria:

  • ordinarily live in New Zealand
  • be a New Zealand citizen or have a current residence class visa
  • have been born in Ukraine, or have held citizenship or be a permanent resident of Ukraine, and
  • be an ‘acceptable sponsor’ for a temporary visa, which means:
  • not be formally insolvent or bankrupt
  • not be liable for deportation
  • not be serving a custodial sentence or waiting to be sentenced for a crime that involves a custodial sentence

Who can the sponsor nominate?

The family member must:

  • meet the standard temporary visa health and character requirements, although evidence such as medical checks and police certificates will not be required; and
  • have been ordinarily resident in Ukraine, as of January 2022.

Summary

We are relieved that there is a pathway for some Ukrainians to find safety in New Zealand. However, we sincerely hope that the Government will consider expanding this to family members of Ukrainians with temporary visas, given many of them have not had any opportunity, until very recently, to apply for residence themselves.

Been Waiting to Migrate to New Zealand?

Duncan Cotterill is a full-service law firm with locations in five distinct markets in New Zealand resulting in an immigration sector that is highly informed on local markets. From initial eligibility scoping and visa or work permit applications through to confirmed residency — Cotterill gives tailored advice at every step of the process.

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