Confusion over granting of visas for those at risk from Taliban - lawyers

11:38 am on 6 November 2021

Lawyers say Afghans in New Zealand are confused why only some of the people at threat from the Taliban are being resettled here.

Closed boom gate on the flag background. Restricted entry or immigration ban 3D

Photo: 123RF

Immigration has granted 435 Afghans a visa, who were outside narrow Cabinet criteria that prioritised those who had worked for New Zealand agencies.

It said these are mostly the partners or dependents of New Zealand citizens.

But Community Law Aotearoa said Immigration appears to be inconsistent.

It said it is blocking some who are linked to family already here who worked for the Defence Force, while allowing in others who lack a family link.

All up so far 1300 Afghan have got visas urgently amid the heightened danger.

The High Court is currently considering a challenge to the granting of visas in a case launched by Community Law Waikato.

The Afghans applied for visas before Covid-19 hit, but are caught up in delays linked to border closures.

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