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Press Release – New Zealand Government

Australia and New Zealand have jointly agreed that New Zealand will resettle up to 150 refugees per year for three years from Australia’s existing regional processing cohort. The resettlement arrangement will be implemented within existing New Zealand laws…

Australia and New Zealand have jointly agreed that New Zealand will resettle up to 150 refugees per year for three years from Australia’s existing regional processing cohort.

The resettlement arrangement will be implemented under New Zealand’s existing refugee quota program and will initially be considered for refugees who:

  • are in Nauru or are temporarily in Australia under regional processing agreements;
  • meet the requirements of the New Zealand Refugee Quota Scheme;
  • are returned to New Zealand by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and
  • are not engaged in other resettlement pathways to third countries, such as the United States resettlement scheme.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Australia’s strict border protection policies have not changed and no one trying to cross into Australia illegally by boat will ever settle here.

“This arrangement does not apply to anyone attempting an illegal sea voyage to Australia in the future. Australia stands firm – illegal sea arrivals will not settle here permanently. Anyone attempting to cross our borders be turned back or returned to Nauru,” said Minister Andrews.

“I would like to thank Minister Faafoi for engaging so constructively with me throughout this process, I am pleased that our two countries were able to reach this agreement. Australia will continue to work with New Zealand and UNHCR to operationalize the arrangement.

New Zealand Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said the long-standing offer reflected New Zealand’s close relationship with Australia.

“New Zealand is very pleased that Australia has accepted the offer to resettle up to 150 refugees a year for three years,” said Kris Faafoi.

“New Zealand has a long and proud history of resettling refugees and this arrangement is another example of how we are fulfilling our international humanitarian commitment. We are pleased to be able to provide resettlement outcomes for refugees who otherwise would have continued to face an uncertain future.

All resettlement applications to New Zealand will go through the same comprehensive refugee quota program screening and assessment processes – including credibility, security, risk and biometric checks and health assessment – New Zealand applies to all UNHCR-referred refugees.

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