The Buddhist Council has prepared a report that gives information and advice regarding applying for Work Visas and Permanent Residence Visas for Religious Workers, such as monks, nuns and religious teachers. The full report is available to download: NZBC Advice on NZ Immigration for Religious Workers 2012.pdf (also linked to below this post).
The New Zealand Buddhist Council has been engaged since 2007 with New Zealand Immigration, and over the years with various Ministers, in developing new regulations for religious workers. This has been supported and assisted by representatives of other faith groups, particularly through a joint submission of the Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish and Sikh communities, also supported by the Catholic Church, to the Government in 2008.
This resulted in the new regulations which came into effect in November 2011. These represent a new recognition of the role of religious leaders in New Zealand society, and the important role that they fulfill in many communities.
These regulations are new. Both the religious communities and New Zealand immigration will take time to build a body of practice for how the regulations are to be interpreted in each individual case.
The attached notes come from a meeting arranged by Joan Buchanan, who has been the principal proponent and guide for this work. Without Joan’s perseverence and energy this would not have come about.
The intention of the notes is to give some pointers to Buddhist groups (and other religious groups) to understand how to make use of these regulations. It is not a manual, but it has been reviewed by NZ Immigration for accuracy. It covers both Work Visas and Permanent Residence Visas for Religious Workers.
If you have experience with applications (straightforward or difficult) that may help to build a body of knowledge around these procedures, we would be happy to hear from you. Any individual circumstances will be treated in absolute confidence. However sharing information about general circumstances may help to clear the way for others.
You are free to use this information at your discretion. The NZBC does not take any responsibility for the outcome of any application. NZBC does not provide immigration advice for any individual cases. However we may be able to help you receive the advice you need.
The full pdf version of this report, NZBC Advice on NZ Immigration for Religious Workers 2012.pdf, can be downloaded from the link below.