New Zealand dairy farmers in Australia may find it easier to gain permanent residency and then citizenship thanks to the UDV.ALEXANDRA BATHMAN June 17, 2014 3:10am
New Zealand dairy farmers in Australia may find it easier to gain permanent residency and then citizenship thanks to the UDV.
The UDV has worked with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to simplify the application process for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) 888 Visa.
UDV manager Vin Delahunty said the organisation made the changes its priority because there were currently more than 200 former New Zealanders dairy farming in Victoria who had difficulty gaining residency and citizenship.
‘‘Without permanent residency, these farmers who are contributing so much to our communities and have invested significant resources in the economy aren’t able to access citizenship,’’ Mr Delahunty said.
‘‘And by not being citizens they’re excluded from a range of activities the rest of us take for granted. They can’t vote in government elections or access student loans for their children.’’
The struggle has been an ongoing issue in the dairy industry for more than 10 years.
Mooroopna dairy farmers Murray and Sharron Pivac moved to Australia in 2006 and gained Australian residency and citizenship three years ago.
Mr Pivac said the process gave the couple, who milk 650 cows, a huge headache that lasted more than a year.
‘‘When we first went to the migration lawyers we were told we were wasting our time,’’ Mr Pivac said.
‘‘It was heaps of hassle — a lot of the forms, questionnaires and health checks were a waste of time as you felt like you were just repeating yourself.
‘‘If I had come here on a boat I would have had an easier shot.’’
The Pivacs persisted with their application because they wanted an even playing field in the industry.
‘‘If times were tough, the rule is if you’re Australian you’re helped, but if you weren’t you were on your own,’’ Mr Pivac said.
‘‘We also wanted to be able to vote. To have no say in the country you live in — it didn’t feel right.’’
Mr Pivac said the benefits of Australian residency and citizenship was worth the merry-go-round but he knew other farmers who were from New Zealand but working in Australia were put off by the old process and didn’t want to bother trying.
The 888 Visa was put in place in 2012 but had only recently been included on Immigration Department websites.
‘‘Until a few months ago, both the state and federal department websites didn’t even list that New Zealanders were eligible to apply for this program,’’ Mr Delahunty said.
‘‘Now that the correct information is getting out there, we believe it is the time for those New Zealanders who are already a part of our communities to officially become a part of our country.’’
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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