12 Aug 2004

NZ revised immigration policy, says Tonga

10:09 am on 12 August 2004

The Tongan government says New Zealand has softened its immigration policy towards the country.

It says the the move came after a meeting between the Tonga prime minister Prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata and his New Zealand counterpart, Helen Clark during the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Samoa.

Miss Clark announced several changes to her government's Pacific Access Scheme which provides for 250 Tongans to migrate to New Zealand each year.

It has lowered the minimum income level needed for applicants by US$5,000.

The immigration officials will carry over any unfilled quota places for the next three years.