15 Jun 2015

Unprecedented interest from Fiji in NZ immigration ballot

11:17 am on 15 June 2015

An over-subscribed immigration ballot has left Fijian applicants with a less than three per cent chance of a place in the draw to come to New Zealand.

Fiji First leader Frank Bainimarama

Fiji First leader Frank Bainimarama Photo: RNZI

Immigration New Zealand published the list of successful applications on Friday, a week after the Pacific Access Category Ballot draw took place.

Almost nine-thousand Fijians paid the equivalent of $50 US dollars for only 250 ballot places, which gives them a chance at a residence visa.

It is the first time Fijians have been allowed to apply since the military coup of 2006 and immigration adviser, Russell Page, says it's not surprising the interest was high.

"It could be a natural bottle-neck or build-up caused by the fact that Fijians have been excluded from that category for quite some time since Mr Bainimarama came into power."

Russell Page says parents and siblings find it harder to get residence in New Zealand than in the past, so the ballot offers a chance for people who are not eligible for other visas.

He says successful applicants face the difficult hurdle of finding employment before can they can take up their chance at residence.