Samoan Immigration Quota Change Announced

  • Max Bradford

The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tofilau Eti Alesana, and the New Zealand Minister of Immigration, Max Bradford, today announced changes to the annual New Zealand-Samoa Immigration Quota Scheme.

The changes are designed to prevent the possibility of other nationalities, who have acquired Samoan citizenship, using the Quota Scheme to apply for residence in New Zealand.

The Quota, which was established in 1970, marks the special relationship that exists between Samoa and New Zealand.

"There are strong historical, cultural and sporting links between our countries," the Ministers said.

Under the Quota, up to 1,100 Samoans are granted residence in New Zealand each year, provided the principal applicant has a full time job offer, is aged between 18 and 45 years, can hold a conversation in English, and meets the usual immigration requirements relating to health and character.

Principal applicants may be accompanied by their spouse and dependent children, who are included in the 1,100 total.

The changes to the Quota announced today mean that the principal applicant must be a Samoan citizen born in Samoa, or someone who has been born overseas to a Samoan citizen who was born in Samoa. There is no other change to the criteria.

Announcing the changes, Mr Bradford said New Zealand also welcomed residence applications from Samoan citizens under other immigration categories.

The Samoan Prime Minister, who is also Samoa's Immigration Minister, said he welcomed the changes and the assurance that only Samoans would continue to benefit from the Quota Scheme as intended.

Applications for the next Samoan Quota will be considered from 3 June.