[Sorry, Mr Bean clip has no connection to blog below. Just wanted to get your attention. Thanks for reading !]
A CUTESY way to describe it would be expectation-challenged, or maybe expectation-averse. By it I refer to my personal blogging experience and the (un)finished product, YLBnoel’s Blog courtesy of wordpress dot com. The moment I attempt to hawk anything other than useless information in this here blog, I cringe (with clenched teeth) not because I don’t want to raise expectations or not because I’m conscienceless and blissfully ignorant, but because I’ve let so many people down, disappointed well-laid plans et cetera so many times in the past. Call me lazy, indolent, effort-wasting, small-minded, but anytime it ceases to be fun, it’s not fun anymore. And when it’s not fun anymore, it’s hard to justify it, it’s a chore, and you know what they say, as in “I love him / her, I wouldn’t give it up for anything else, but it’s a chore.” Which is code for I’d rather be doing something else.
Sorry for being a nattering nabob of negativity up there, but I was thinking of the incipient policy of introducing a high-income bracket for prospective applicants bringing in family members as permanent residents in NZ. Please don’t think I’m attempting to be socially aware / relevant, or helpful to people in the same boat as I (might be), or anything like that. It’s a purely selfish reason, that the policy will soon be in the neighborhood of affecting me personally, not too soon mind you, but getting there. That’s why I guess it’s a left-handed way of asking you not to take me seriously. Just grab a coffee and listen please. 🙂
In so many words, a new, high-income category will be created for NZ permanent residents who want to bring their family over from home, presumably to become permanent residents themselves. This is a kind way of saying those who won’t belong in the proposed high-income category (my guess is anyone who doesn’t earn at least $50,000 annually, or 90% of the population) shouldn’t expect their papers processed in less than two years. Really, that’s what, to my fourth-grade understanding, the bottom line’s gonna be.
I was outraged for a few days until I spoke with one-and-a-half immigration professionals (I say half cuz the other person only does it part-time) and they’ve essentially told me the same thing : that in a way, the authorities have been doing it for some time now, imposing income-related requirements and conditions and it’s mostly for your (meaning mine) own good.
The basic premise being how do you reasonably expect to bring family over without being able to support them in a way that they’re used to, applicants for the last few years have been required to commit to supporting family members for at least two years from the time the latter arrive in New Zealand. That’s reasonable I guess, since your dad/mom, or especially your kids, won’t immediately be able to train themselves to be a productive part of the NZ workforce, much less find jobs instantly after getting here.
Because it’s getting harder and harder to find jobs, the two-year requirement has I’ve heard been increased to five, and with the incoming policy it will probably go up again.
And it probably isn’t news to you that quite a few nationalities in the top ten, migrant-wise, are known to go on the unemployment benefit as soon as they become permanent residents. Don’t get offended, as Filipinos don’t partake of this dubious honor. However, those that are known to be athletic (in NZ’s favorite sport), the first to cry unfair! when PC (political-correctness) filters haven’t been cleaned, and those from places that are traditionally the recipients of NZ’s aid largesse, are unsurprisingly part of this clique. I apologize in advance if some of you feel alluded to, the preponderance just leads in that direction.
I mention it because when you think about it, New Zealand can no longer continue to be a welfare state for the hordes of migrants, and the safety valve of stricter immigration policy, as regards stringent immigration conditions, is one of the more efficient ways to prevent this. Expecting to support the dependents you petition, even for a temporary period, is merely common sense, and in the long run, a country that’s overburdened with increasing baggage is a country that ultimately loses its appeal as a migrant destination.
Years ago I saw this on a government-sponsored green-conscious ad : Ang basurang kinalat mo, babalik din sa yo. (Garbage carelessly disposed of eventually returns to you.) I guess opening its gates too wide and being too friendly to migrants at the expense of its own citizens (and being vote-conscious at the same time), were things uppermost in its mind when the current Government crafted its policy refinements. Am I making any sense?
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Lest you think I’m being an apologist for those who formulate and execute immigration law, I have two examples below on how sloppy they have been getting lately. The newspaper where I live is essentially a small-town paper chock full of local references and support for regional sports (as a small town paper should rightfully be), but it’s a darn good paper. And like any self-respecting publication, it has an online version, but one of its few shortcomings is that it doesn’t reproduce the hard copy Letters to the Editor section, which is one of the more interesting parts of the paper, craziness-wise. If you don’t mind, I’ll quote liberally below from two letters I chose, and don’t worry, they speak for themselves :
Dear Editor : When my in-laws recently applied to the Immigration Service (sic) for a visa, they were asked to provide details of all family members, spouse, children, siblings, parents, even grandparents and ex-partners (ex-spouses) dead or alive.
Details were also required about “full education (including place of secondary, high school, or tertiary education even if you did not complete the course and diplomas, certificates and degrees obtained),” employment history (including self, unemployed, housewife or any other unpaid work)”; and past travel history.
This had to be backed up with as many certifed true copies of original documents as they could get hold of, with a certified English translation.
That was an addition to the information they had already provided in the standard visa application form and the full sponsorship and financial guarantees by their New Zealand citizen relatives.
And they only wanted to spend a few weeks with us over Christmas…
So I was bewildered and dismayed to read how easy it was for Kim Dotcom to obtain residency with his millions despite the service being aware of his character.
What does this paint of our country?
Mr Obrad P, Waterloo
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Here’s a second letter, which makes reference to the above letter.
Dear Editor : I sympathise with Obrad P (Letters, March 13) about the service, or lack of it, from the Immigration Service. We planned to treat our young, university- educated niece from the Philippines (boldface mine, just in case you missed it) to a holiday here.
We, too, went to great lengths to provide details of our private lives on a 12-page sponsorship form signed by a JP (justice of the peace, like a barangay chairman), certified copies of our marriage certificate, proof of citizenship, house- ownership papers, bank statements and the itinerary for a return trip. We had to courier them all to Manila.
Our niece completed a 20-page visa application form, provided a medical certificate and police clearance, and paid for a passport, the visa-application fee, and courier charges to have her passport returned.
We expected approval would be a formality, but our niece received a standard letter declining her application because “her financial and economic circumstances . . . are not considered as a return incentive”.
I’d have expected the service to offer this young, talented university graduate permanent residence, but, instead, it dashed her hopes, with a stroke of the pen, of a simple holiday.
I wonder what damage such a haughty attitude towards decent, hard-working foreigners does to New Zealand’s reputation.
Ruud B, Napier
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Oooops, the online version does have a letters section, but I’m not sure if it’s updated regularly. Well, I just wanted you to know that bureaucratic snarl and shortsightedness affects everyone, including New Zealand’s citizens, not just us.
Happy Easter everyone, I’ve taken enough of your time, thanks for reading !
* iskul bukol refers to a C student or mediocre student, or unserious schooling, reminiscent of a popular Filipino comedy show of the same title.
- Yet another day for the rest of your life (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Debt agencies chase migrants’ $1.7m bill (nzherald.co.nz)
- Splicing thought-strands on home, coming home and homecomings (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- We have not forgotten (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Dino Dinero sa Ingglatero (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Pleasure delayed = pleasure magnified : things better done back home (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Pacific migrants fear new income test will keep out family helpers (nzherald.co.nz)