Sydney, Australia, Mar 15 (EFE).- Wellington announced on Tuesday that it will give special two-year visas to shelter people in Ukraine whose relatives are resident in New Zealand, in response to the humanitarian crisis derived from Russia’s invasion.
Under the measure, which is implemented as of Tuesday and will be open for 12 months, temporary visa holders will be able to work in the Oceanian country, send their children to schools and enjoy other social benefits, according to the government statement.
The visa is expected to benefit about 4,000 parents, grandparents, siblings, adult children and their immediate relatives of some 1,600 Ukrainians who hold New Zealand permanent residency or citizenship.
“This is the largest special visa category we have established in decades to support an international humanitarian effort,” Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said in the statement.
“Our Ukrainian community in New Zealand has also asked us to help in sheltering their family members who have been forced to flee their homes due to Russia’s unprovoked attack,” he added.
“It’s a two year visa to help people escape the current conflict and to shelter here in the hope they can return home when the war ends.”
New Zealand has allowed extensions for Ukrainians whose visas were to expire before the end of the year and allowed Ukrainians with visas to enter the country without waiting for the borders to reopen.
The government also announced that it has allocated an additional NZ$4 million ($2.7 million) in humanitarian aid for Ukraine, from which 2 million residents have been displaced since Russia’s invasion last month. EFE