More people on work visas being sent home.
I know I do bang on about this from time to time – but work visas are temporary. You have no legal right to stay in New Zealand forever if you have come in on a work visa. This has not changed, as 25 bus drivers in Wellington are finding out. Do NOT be caught out.
Twenty-five Fijian bus drivers employed by bus company Go Wellington are facing deportation after working around the city for up to six years.
The men were granted annual work visas and employed by NZ Bus from 2006 when bus driving was listed on Immigration New Zealand’s skills shortage list. Now Immigration NZ is refusing to renew the visas because the shortage no longer exists.
The Fijian Indian men brought their families with them, and had proved themselves to be honest, hard-working and law-abiding citizens, Tramways Union Wellington branch president Evan Keay said.
“It really does appear to be a case of blatant exploitation. These workers and their families were encouraged to come here. They’ve been used to fill gaps and bolster the New Zealand economy.
“Now, because it no longer suits government policy, they are being systematically ejected from this country.”
This is simply emotive rubbish. Government policy has not changed a single iota on this subject. What has changed is the economy – and people are out of work who could do these jobs.
Mr Keay said the drivers had come to New Zealand in good faith with their wives and children.
“Many of the children have spent virtually their entire life in New Zealand. These children have received all their schooling here and have no knowledge of life in Fiji and the hardships that will present upon their return . . .
“The only change that has occurred in the last six years, and has led to the refusal of Immigration NZ to renew these workers’ visas, is Government policy,” he said.
Bullcrap. This is simply not true. The policy on work visas is the same now as it has always been. A work visa is temporary and you have no automatic right to a renewal. If you want to take the risk and bring your entire family and sell up – you need to do so on the understanding that you may have to go back at some point. The only permanent visa is a Residency Visa. Always has been.
He would like special consideration to be given to the men, as they had shown hard work and loyalty. “We would like a degree of certainty and security while they pursue permanent citizenship.”
Only they cant. You cannot get citizenship off the back of a work visa. You need to be a resident, on a resident visa for 5 years in order to qualify.
Immigration NZ general manager Nicola Hogg said bus drivers could be granted only one-year work visas under the essential skills policy. In Wellington and Auckland there were now New Zealanders available to work as bus drivers.
“The Fijian bus drivers do not have a pathway to residence. All of them have been granted additional visas of up to 12 months. This step has been taken to give the drivers sufficient time to organise their affairs and arrange their return home.”
Outgoing Immigration Minister Nathan Guy said: “I sympathise with these bus drivers but their work visas were always temporary with a limited timeframe. Our policy is that we look for New Zealanders first for jobs, before turning to overseas workers.
“I’ve offered a number of options to the drivers, including a one-year extension to their visas to give them more time to make plans.”
Its honestly not often I end up siding with Immigration New Zealand and the minister, but on this one it’s clear cut. Yes its crap they have to leave. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone to be honest. But I don’t think you can complain too much at a time when there are lots of Kiwis that need jobs.
And back to the Banging on about it: If it’s not a Residency Visa – you can be refused a renal of your visa and have to go home.
Never forget it.