New Zealand has made an offer to give all those who survived the Christchurch mosque attack when a terrorist killed 50 people worshipping in 2 mosques last month. New Zealand's Minister announced this offer for Immigration on Tuesday. He added that the offer is not only available to the survivors of the terrorist attack but their immediate relatives as well.
Family members of survivors and victims are covered too
The decision to give them permanent status in the country was preceded by public appeals by the survivors as well as the family members of the victims to be informed of their immigration status as majority of them only had a study or temporary work visas
. According to statistics from the New Zealand Immigration Agency
, the number of people who will be receiving the permanent status would reach about 190 people.
Iain Lees-Galloway, New Zealand's Immigration Minister said the government had to significantly respond to the people's pleas especially, considering the severity of the terrorist attack and anguish the people were going through.
The Minister empathized with the situation the survivors, their families and that of the victims were subjected to, saying that the attack was consciously designed to give a maximum level of physical harm and mental trauma to them.
New Zealand's government did not make a public announcement of this offer, rather it was quietly updated on the website of the country's Immigration agency.
Lees-Galloway said the government had, in a Cabinet meeting on 15th April, decided to make this offer, but that they had to wait for one more week for the immigration agency to make their preparations.
All applicants for this visa will first be checked against police records to ascertain their claims to the offer. Relatives who were on a short visit to New Zealand
— such as tourists — will not qualify for the visa.
The minister said the immigration agency will reach out to those who are eligible for the offer, but as at Tuesday, the survivors said they had not been contacted.
Family members of those who were in the mosques on that day including parents of partners will be eligible for the offer as long as they were in New Zealand on the day of the attacks. Siblings and grandparents of victims and survivors who are below 25 years of age are eligible too.
Their applications will be given priority over those applying for other residency permits. They will also not be paying the usual visa fees of $140.
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