16 July 2008

NZ secures UK ancestry visa rights for Kiwi travellers

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New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced yesterday New Zealanders will retain access to UK ancestry visas, following close discussions between the two governments.

Ancestry visas allow New Zealanders who have grandparents born in the UK to live and work in the UK for up to five years. 

The British Government has been reviewing its immigration policies over the past few months, and the consultation questioned whether the ancestry visa for New Zealanders should be abolished.  The announcement follows a recent decision by the British Home Office to also continue New Zealand’s visa free access to Britain for up to six months. 

"These two decisions mean that New Zealanders will continue to have good access to Britain," Helen Clark said in a press release.  "Our Government fully understands the importance of an "OE" for New Zealanders.  We have made a sustained effort to maintain the good level of access our people have traditionally enjoyed to Britain, and we are very pleased with the response from the British Government," she added.

The New Zealand Government has retained its goodwill towards Britain by allowing UK citizens to enjoy a New Zealand working holiday visa for 11 months longer than foreign nationals from other countries.  Despite the distance to New Zealand and increasing economical pressures on travelling, record numbers of British continue to hit its shores every year.  According to the Dominion Post, 300,000 British residents holidayed in New Zealand last year, with most being on a New Zealand working holiday visa. 


Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.

Online applications are available for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa with the New Zealand Visa Bureau.


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