Prime Minister Helen Clark is welcoming today’s announcement from the British Government that New Zealanders who have grandparents born in the United Kingdom will continue to be able to live and work in the UK for up to five years using ancestry visas.
“I am delighted that the British Home Office has said that it intends to retain the ancestry visa category. This follows the recent news that New Zealanders will continue to have visa free access to the United Kingdom for up to six months.
“These two decisions mean that New Zealanders will continue to enjoy good access to Britain. They follow extensive consultations between British and New Zealand officials. I also raised the matter personally with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown,” Helen Clark said.
“The British Government has been undertaking an extensive review of its immigration policy. Its recent Path to Citizenship consultation asked whether the ancestry visa should be abolished.
“Over the years, New Zealanders have used the ancestry visa in order to live and work in Britain. This decision provides assurance to New Zealanders wishing to maintain their ancestral links to Britain that they will be able to continue to access this route to live and work in the UK.
“The New Zealand Government appreciates the consideration which the British Government has given our views during the consultation period, and greatly welcomes the decision to retain this visa category. It reflects the huge goodwill towards New Zealand in Britain.
“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,” Helen Clark said.
UK Home Office announcement: http://press.homeoffice.gov.uk/press-releases/Earning-The-Right-To-Stay
More information on NZ's relationship with the UK www.mfat.govt.nz/Countries/Europe/UK