WELLINGTON, March 15 ― New Zealand's government said today that it will introduce a new policy that will enable about 4,000 family members of Ukrainian-New Zealanders to move to the country in the short-term following Russia's invasion.

Ukrainian-born New Zealand citizens and residents will be able to sponsor a Ukrainian family member and their immediate family, Immigration Minster Kris Faafoi said in a statement. Those accepted will be granted a two-year work visa and their children will be able to attend school.

“The 2022 Special Ukraine Policy will be open for a year and allow the estimated 1,600 Ukrainian-born citizens and residents in New Zealand to sponsor parents, grand-parents and adult siblings or adult children and their immediate family,” Faafoi said. “This is the largest special visa category we have established in decades.”

The government also announced it will provide an additional NZ$4 million (RM11.35 million) in funding to support Ukrainian communities.

New Zealand last week said it would extend visas held by Ukrainians currently living in New Zealand and also open its borders, currently closed to all non-New Zealanders or New Zealand residents, to Ukrainians with valid visas.

It also passed a law to enable it to freeze Russian assets in New Zealand, prevent people and companies from moving their money and assets to the country to escape sanctions imposed by other countries and also stop super yachts, ships and aircraft from entering its waters or airspace. It has also banned 100 individuals from traveling to New Zealand.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”. ― Reuters