They came, they saw, they left ...
By Lincoln Tan
4:00 AM Wednesday Jan 20, 2010

In the final of the series, immigration reporter Lincoln Tan looks at how well the country retains its foreign residents.

One out of five people granted New Zealand permanent residency between 2002 and 2008 is absent from the country.

According to the Department of Labour, 83,983 of the 452,500 granted residency over the period are living permanently outside New Zealand.

Despite not residing in New Zealand, these absent permanent residents - whom migrant advisers say were granted residency mainly through the business stream - will still be eligible for health and education subsidies should they decide to return.

Should they maintain their residency status, their children could also be entitled to New Zealand residency, which will make them also eligible for these subsidies.

Migrant advisers have raised questions whether this allows migrants to use New Zealand as a "second option" for retirement, as a springboard to Australia or use its services without contributing to the economy.

More here.