26 June 2008
NZ PM secures free visa access for Kiwi travellers to UK
Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today in a press release that New Zealanders will retain free access to the UK for visits of up to six months.
The British Government has been reviewing immigration policies, and in particular reducing the free visa policy from six months to three months. Ms Clark personally requested the Prime Minister Gordon Brown to retain the free visa agreement with New Zealand, and the New Zealand High Commission in the UK submitted a formal request to the Home Office. The requests secured the six month free visa for New Zealanders.
"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 in Britain, and are very pleased with the response from the British Government", said Helen Clark.
New Zealand immigration policy has also remained beneficial to British tourists, who are granted a New Zealand working visa valid for almost twice as long as for those from other countries. Policies such as this, coupled with the announcement from the Home Office overnight that New Zealand will retain free access to Britain, is reflective of a positive working relationship between both governments and broadens opportunities for young travellers in both countries.