18 January 2011

New Zealanders miss out on flood relief due to Australia Visa bungle

Reports of New Zealanders being declined for flood relief in Queensland are currently being investigated by the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra.

Australia Visa

New Zealanders affected by the floods in Brisbane and Queensland are having difficulties due to Australia Visa confusion.

Currently, those affected by the Queensland floods must be an Australian resident or citizen or holder of an eligible Australia Visa to get the disaster assistance package of $1000 per adult and $400 per child.

However, there have been reports of New Zealanders being declined the assistance package.

New Zealanders who moved to Australia after 2001 are automatically given a special category visa, or SCV, on entry that allows them to stay and work in Australia. New Zealanders wanting Australian citizenship must first apply for permanent residence.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister John Key said the Government had asked the high commission in Canberra to raise the matter with the Australian Government.

Labour leader Phil Goff said Australians living permanently in New Zealand would be treated the same as everyone else in such a situation.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australia Immigration application with the Australian High Commission

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