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Changes enhance Indian core values

I support the National-led Government’s important work in immigration policy as it fits well with the core values of the Indian community.

Immigration helps to build a stronger economy and create jobs by encouraging innovation, deepening our links with international markets and providing the skills and capital we need for growth.

Coming to live in New Zealand is a true privilege, not a right.

We are making changes to give priority to migrants who can make a real contribution to New Zealand. Overall we expect these changes will eventually save the taxpayer around $40 million a year.

New immigration family policies will help New Zealand attract and retain skilled migrants from India and other regions and will ensure that their family members can settle well and are self-sufficient.

You do not have to be rich and famous but we are deliberately giving priority to people who can contribute to society rather than relying on taxpayers.

The changes will mean we will prioritise parents who have savings or an income to support themselves, or who have adult children who can afford to support them.

Eligibility modified

As a community with a strong work ethic, I believe that Indian families will understand the importance of these changes.

Parents with poor English will continue to be eligible, but they must pre-purchase English tuition to help them to settle well in New Zealand. Learning the language is a big factor in people adapting successfully to life in a new country.

Around 3500 parents of migrants are approved for residence each year. It costs New Zealand taxpayers to support many of them, especially because of their access to benefits. They are also eligible for publicly funded healthcare.

The ‘Sibling and Adult Child Category’ will be removed, reducing the number of unskilled migrants who find it more difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments.

A new two-tier process, in which applications from parents sponsored by higher income people, or who bring a guaranteed income or funds (Tier One) will be processed faster than other sponsored parents (Tier Two).

As a result, many skilled migrants who have residence here can sponsor their parents and will receive a quicker decision with less red tape.

Immigration plays a critical part in National’s plan to build a brighter future.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is a Member of Parliament on National List.

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