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Thread: Family bedless as immigration goes sour

  1. #1
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    Default Family bedless as immigration goes sour

    Family bedless as immigration goes sour
    By REBECCA TODD - The Press
    Last updated 05:00 09/07/2009

    The Schoenberger family had nowhere to sleep in Christchurch last night after falling foul of the recession and changing migrant skill shortages.

    Joerg Schoenberger came to New Zealand from Germany with wife Ilona and sons Manuel, 19, Maurice,12, and Marvin, 6, in October last year.

    They were advised by a Nelson immigration agent that New Zealand was in desperate need of painters, and Schoenberger's qualifications as a master painter would get him a job. By January he had a temporary work visa and a job, but by April the work had been reduced to part-time and in May it dried up.

    Painters have since been taken off the skills-shortage list, meaning Schoenberger could not look for work elsewhere, and he was advised the family had to leave the country.

    Over this time the Schoenbergers paid $11,000 to their immigration adviser and had little savings to get home.

    Schoenberger said that after selling their car they had enough cash for a week's stay in a holiday park, but since then had been forced to live off the charity of the City Mission, St Vincent de Paul, Women's Refuge and the YWCA.

    But beds had to be given to New Zealanders first.

    At 8pm yesterday, everywhere was full and the Schoenbergers still did not know where they were going to sleep.

    Migrant advocates Mike and Tammy Bell contacted Christchurch list MP Nicky Wagner about the Schoenbergers' case and were told yesterday that the mother and the boys would be repatriated to Germany on Saturday.

    Because Joerg Schoenberger was not yet legally an overstayer, he may not be sent home until the end of next month.

    "When I first lost my job I would like to have stayed. Now I want to go," he said.

    "I cannot work here. I have no money, but they say you must wait."

    The Bells held a meeting on the problems facing migrants at their Skilled Migrant Information and Resource Centre last night. Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel and Wigram MP Jim Anderton said they would seek a meeting with Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman.

    Dalziel suggested skilled migrants made redundant be given a work permit to help them stay in New Zealand during the recession as their skills would be needed after it ended.

    * If you can help the Schoenbergers, contact

    reporters@press.co.nz.

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    Officials meet over work permit concerns
    NZPA | Thursday July 9 2009 - 09:29pm

    An organisation helping skilled overseas workers settle in New Zealand has taken concerns about tightened work visa restrictions to MPs and government officials.

    Migrant assistance group Move2nz said it had recently been flooded with concerns from migrants, either in work or with potential jobs in New Zealand, saying work visas or renewals had been declined.

    British media has reported on the alleged harsh treatment of its citizens by the New Zealand Government, suggesting its jobs policy was anti-immgration.

    Move2nz's Mike Bell said the Government's narrowing last month of its approach to issuing work visas had left both migrant families and employers high and dry, and suggested policy needed to be reassessed.

    Mr Bell told NZPA he believed market information about where supposed skill shortages were and weren't an issue was misleading and businesses had the same view.

    "What they were telling us was that the market testing was wrong and that there were not New Zealanders available that they could call on.

    "What it was doing was leaving them high and dry...these businesses are quite vulnerable and need to keep things ticking over."

    Mr Bell said the situation could be negative for the economy as the recession lifted and exposed a lack of skilled workers.

    However, claims that Britons were effectively being pushed out of the country were dismissed this week by an Immigration NZ official.

    Service delivery group manager Steve Cantlon said there was sympathy for families who had to return home because of the changing labour market.

    "However, temporary workers have always known that there was no certainty that their permits would be extended or that they would be able to progress on to permanent residence.

    "The change in their economic circumstances is to be regretted, but it is not the result of an anti-immigrant jobs policy."

    Mr Bell said a meeting about the issue was held in Christchurch last night with attendance from Immigration NZ officials, along with Labour MP and former immigration minister Lianne Dalziel and Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

    Neither were immediately available for comment, but Mr Bell said they agreed there were legitimate questions over whether new immigration policy was serving its purpose and planned to discuss the issues with Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman.

    A spokeswoman from Mr Coleman's office said there were complex issues involved with work visas and permanent residency processes.

    However, many people were being made redundant during the recession and jobs were scarce.

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    Robotnik123 is offline Junior Member
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    An unfortunate case, but I don't think it was very smart of them to give $11,000 to an immigration agent when they don't even have enough money for a room for the night.


    Quote Originally Posted by MotherBear View Post
    Family bedless as immigration goes sour
    By REBECCA TODD - The Press
    Last updated 05:00 09/07/2009

    The Schoenberger family had nowhere to sleep in Christchurch last night after falling foul of the recession and changing migrant skill shortages.

    Joerg Schoenberger came to New Zealand from Germany with wife Ilona and sons Manuel, 19, Maurice,12, and Marvin, 6, in October last year.

    They were advised by a Nelson immigration agent that New Zealand was in desperate need of painters, and Schoenberger's qualifications as a master painter would get him a job. By January he had a temporary work visa and a job, but by April the work had been reduced to part-time and in May it dried up.

    Painters have since been taken off the skills-shortage list, meaning Schoenberger could not look for work elsewhere, and he was advised the family had to leave the country.

    Over this time the Schoenbergers paid $11,000 to their immigration adviser and had little savings to get home.

    Schoenberger said that after selling their car they had enough cash for a week's stay in a holiday park, but since then had been forced to live off the charity of the City Mission, St Vincent de Paul, Women's Refuge and the YWCA.

    But beds had to be given to New Zealanders first.

    At 8pm yesterday, everywhere was full and the Schoenbergers still did not know where they were going to sleep.

    Migrant advocates Mike and Tammy Bell contacted Christchurch list MP Nicky Wagner about the Schoenbergers' case and were told yesterday that the mother and the boys would be repatriated to Germany on Saturday.

    Because Joerg Schoenberger was not yet legally an overstayer, he may not be sent home until the end of next month.

    "When I first lost my job I would like to have stayed. Now I want to go," he said.

    "I cannot work here. I have no money, but they say you must wait."

    The Bells held a meeting on the problems facing migrants at their Skilled Migrant Information and Resource Centre last night. Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel and Wigram MP Jim Anderton said they would seek a meeting with Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman.

    Dalziel suggested skilled migrants made redundant be given a work permit to help them stay in New Zealand during the recession as their skills would be needed after it ended.

    * If you can help the Schoenbergers, contact

    reporters@press.co.nz.

    From here.
    Last edited by Robotnik123; 10-07-2009 at 04:36 AM.

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    Offers flood in to help stranded family
    By REBECCA TODD - The Press
    Last updated 05:00 10/07/2009

    Offers of housing, food, donations and jobs flooded in yesterday for a German family left destitute on the streets after their immigration dream turned into a nightmare.

    The Schoenberger family had to sleep on the floor of Christchurch's Skilled Migrant Information and Resource Centre on Wednesday night when all the city's refuges and charity homes were full.

    The family of five's situation became desperate after father Joerg lost his job as a painter in Nelson in May.

    His trade was taken off the skills shortage list after he arrived in New Zealand, leaving the family with little option but to head home to Germany.

    However, after paying an immigration adviser more than $11,000 to get here and scraping by on part-time pay for a month, their money ran out. They did not have enough savings to get home and had to rely on charity to get by.

    Immigration New Zealand (INZ) had agreed to pay for Joerg's wife, Ilona, and three sons, Marvin, 6, Maurice, 12, and Manuel, 19, to fly home tomorrow.

    INZ said he would have to wait until the end of August.

    However, after The Press highlighted the Schoenbergers' plight, INZ yesterday agreed to fly the family home together.

    The family are awaiting their flights in the comfort of a motel after an anonymous Press reader offered to foot the bill.

    Nearly 100 people rang or emailed The Press yesterday with offers of help.

    Many said they were disgusted with the way the family had been treated and offered everything from a fold-out couch in their living room to unrented homes or baches for the family to stay in.

    A number of callers wanted to give Schoenberger a job as a painter, while another was for work on an organic farm.

    The family said they were overwhelmed by the response, which was completely unexpected.

    "We can say thanks very much, a lot of many thanks," Schoenberger said. "For other migrants this is helpful. We have heard it's not just us, many other migrants are in this position."

    A temporary bank account was set up yesterday for the many people wanting to make donations. The money will go towards repaying INZ for the airfares as the family will not be allowed to return until they are repaid in full.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robotnik123 View Post
    An unfortunate case, but I don't think it was very smart of them to give $11,000 to an immigration agent when they don't even have enough money for a room for the night.

    They probably would have paid the advisor when still in Germany
    And obviously didnt expect to lose their jobs, as i know we never had any emergency money when it went sour for us
    We were lucky we had family who could help us out, or we would have been on streets ourselves too
    Meadow

    Landed in New Zealand 29th jan 2008
    Colin got job offer 21st feb
    Work Permit applied for 3rd march
    Colins work permit received friday 2nd may 2008
    Dated till jan 2010
    My work permit applied for 7th may 2008
    My work permit received 27th may 2008
    Dated till jan 2010


    Arrived back in Scotland 21st July 2009

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    This just goes to show that the MPs don't have a clue either. He wasn't a skilled migrant, he was on a work permit. This poor guy just got totally shafted by a immigration agent who clearly fed them a load of bull. I'm glad some decent people offerered to help them out, and whoever the agent is should give the money back and be shut down.
    Taffy

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