New Zealand has a formal Refugee Quota Programme of 750 places. Additionally New Zealand accepts up to 300 people under the Refugee Family Support Category.

New Zealand is a party to both the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of Refugees. In recent years, New Zealand has received an average of 300 claims per year from people seeking to be recognised as refugees or protected persons. They are assessed in accordance with the criteria for refugee status set out in the 1951 Refugee Convention, the Convention against Torture, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Refugee and protection status applicants who are declined at first instance have the right of appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal of the Ministry of Justice. The number of refugee and protection claims approved over the last few years averages around 150. Statistical information on refugee and protection claims, quota refugees, the Refugee Family Support Category, as well as other general information is available on the Immigration New Zealand Refugee and Protection Unit's website at http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/general/generalinformation/refugee-protection/

Refugees who are resettled in New Zealand through the Refugee Quota Programme and Refugee Family Support Category have permanent residence status on arrival. Successful refugee and protection status claimants are eligible to apply for permanent residence.

Approximately 1200 refugees  and their family members are approved residency annually in New Zealand through the Refugee Quota Programme, Refugee Family Support Category or through gaining refugee or protected person status as asylum seekers. Most refugees and asylum seekers arrive in Auckland with about 30% of quota refugees and between 70-80% of asylum seekers settling in the region.

The needs of refugees differ from other new migrants. Refugees have fled from situations of conflict and human right abuses. This has important implications for the provision of health care.

Refugees

Migrants

Take the quickest way out often without knowing their destination. Choose their destination country and find out all they can before they leave.
Leave hastily, often to escape from harm. Plan their move.
Leave secretly, unable to let loved ones know where they are going. Pack their belongings and choose what to take and what to leave behind.
Afraid to keep in touch with family or friends in their home country. Say goodbye to family and friends.
May not be able to go home if things do not work out in the resettlement country. May be able to go home if things do not work out in the destination country.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can asylum seekers get screened?
  2. Does Public health screening cost anything for asylum seekers?
  3. If my immigration visa or appointment is due but my screening at the asylum seeker clinic is later what do I do?
  4. If I need an interpreter where can I get one?
  5. How can I get my family from home?
  6. Are refugees and asylum seekers eligible for publicly provided health services?
  1. Where can asylum seekers get screened?

    Asylum seekers can obtain a free health screening in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. To make an appointment, phone:

    Auckland
    ARPHS- Refugee Health Screening Service
    Phone:  09 276 6719 

    Hamilton
    Public Health Unit (Population Health Service) Refugee Health Screening
    Phone:  07 838 2569 

    Wellington
    Regional Public Health
    Phone:  04 570 9002 

    Christchurch
    Community and Public Health
    Phone:  03 364 1777 and ask to speak to the Communicable Disease Nurse 

  2. Does Public health screening cost anything for asylum seekers?

    The service is free of charge. Please note the screening is not an immigration medical.
  3. If my immigration visa or appointment is due but my screening at the asylum seeker clinic is later what do I do?

    Screening before the interview is not essential.
  4. If I need an interpreter where can I get one?

    An interpreter will be arranged for you. When you make an appointment indicate the language that you require.
  5. How can I get my family from home?

    Applications for family support category can be made by contacting Immigration New Zealand (INZ). Information about this is on the INZ website:

    http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/live/refugeefamilysupport/default.htm

  6. Are refugees and asylum seekers eligible for publicly provided health services?

    Individuals with refugee or protection status in New Zealand are eligible, but will need to show proof of status- an approval letter from the Refugee Status Branch, the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, or a residence visa or an open-ended work visa.

Individuals who are in the process of having an application for refugee or protection status determined (including those on appeal) are also eligible. They will need to show proof of a current application, for example, an acknowledgement of receipt of claim letter from the Refugee Status Branch or of an appeal from the Tribunal. However, if this letter is more than six months old, they should provide a more recent letter confirming that their application is still in process.

The Immigration Contact Centre can advise health officials as to the current status of an application.

Phone:

(Auckland)  09 914 4100 

(Wellington)  04 910 9915 

(Everywhere else in New Zealand) 0508 558 855

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Private Bag 92 605 Symonds Street Auckland 1150
Phone 09 623 4600 Fax 09 630 7431
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