01 June 2009

Pregnant temporary New Zealand visa holders may have visa renewel denied

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The Department of Labour has told temporary New Zealand visa holders that they may not have their New Zealand visa renewed if they are pregnant, reports the New Zealand Herald.

A New Zealand visa application for a temporary visa may be denied if a woman is pregnant because she will not be "of an acceptable standard of health", according to a departmental spokesperson. 

While exceptions were granted to partners of New Zealand citizens or residents, and some of those applying for the New Zealand work-to-residence visa, other women on a temporary visa may have their New Zealand visa application denied if they are pregnant.

"This is because of the costs and scarce resources in the maternity sector, and the applicant offering to fund her own maternity costs does not cover the demand for services," a department spokesman said.

"There may also be a question of whether the person is able to undertake the course of study on the basis of which they are applying for a visa or permit if pregnant."

While laws have been in place to prevent children born to temporary New Zealand visa holders in the country from becoming natural citizens, Immigration New Zealand is apparently responding to strains put on the health system in the midwifery department; according to the news report each uncomplicated birth costs around $4000, and can reach up to double that if complications arise.

Immigration New Zealand has also warned temporary New Zealand visa holders that failing to inform them of pregnancy would be breaching the conditions of their visa.

"If a person's circumstances have materially changed since they obtained a permit, they are obliged under the Immigration Act to advise us of that change," the spokesperson said.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.

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