The Epidemic Response Committee has released its final report on the Immigration (Covid-19 Response) Amendment Bill – you can read it here: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_97675/tab/reports.
The report includes the Supplementary Order Paper, which sets out the amendments that the committee recommends being made to the Bill before it is passed into law.
Several submissions were made by immigration industry stakeholders, recommending changes to the Bill, and the main themes of the submissions were about:
- Wanting more assurance that migrant’s rights are going to be protected and not taken away;
- Ensuring the powers that are to be given to the Minister are not to be used to materially disadvantage migrants in any way;
- Ensuring that the powers only be used where necessary to respond to the effects of Covid-19 (that is, this is not the way Immigration will operate forever and is being put in place only to respond to the Covid-19 crisis temporarily);
- Seeing that suspending the ability to lodge applications or EOI’s applies only to people [I]outside[/I] NZ while the border closure is in place, and no one inside NZ will be prevented from submitting applications or EOI’s.
Submitters spoke strongly of making sure that migrants are not disadvantaged by these changes, and it seems the committee took this on board and this theme is covered in the Supplementary Order Paper.
If you have questions about how this Bill might affect your situation once it becomes law this Friday, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.