Transit Visas to Prevent Abuse

  • Max Bradford

Immigration Minister Max Bradford says Labour's so-called immigration spokesperson Lianne Dalziel has completely missed the point with transit visas.

Responding to Ms Dalziel's allegations that the Government was treating transit passengers as "cash cows", Mr Bradford said raising funds had nothing to do with the Government's announcement in June that it was increasing the number of countries whose citizens require transit visas if making short stop overs in New Zealand on the way to Pacific Island countries.

"The new requirements for transit visas reflect our very real concerns about people abusing New Zealand by using a transit stop as a ploy to stay here," Mr Bradford said.

"The increase in the number of countries whose citizens require transit visas (from 24 to 70) is part of a range of measures to manage immigration risks and clamp down on refugee scams, as provided for under the Coalition Agreement.

"New Zealand's commitment to assisting genuine refugees continues, but not to those out to rip us off by getting here by a back door route."

The transit visa fee of $60 reflects the cost of processing an application.