Humanitarian & Refugee

The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees defines a refugee as any person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside their country of nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear is unwilling to return to it. Refugees arrive in New Zealand belonging to one of three categories – Quota Refugees, Asylum Seekers or International/ Family Reunification Migrants.

Quota Refugees
Quota refugees have left their country of origin and are waiting in a country of refuge or first asylum (typically in a refugee camp) for permanent resettlement to one of approximately seventeen receiving countries. Resettlement under the refugee quota programme is proposed after other solutions have been exhausted and it has been deemed that resettlement is the only possible durable solution for a particular refugee.

Quota refugees:
• are granted refugee status by UNHCR prior to arrival;
• are accepted by New Zealand at a rate of 750 each year and are granted permanent residence status on arrival;
• are resettled under three main categories:
- Protection - 600 (including up to 300 declared spouses and dependent children of resettled refugees, and UNHCR referred cases with family links in New Zealand);
- Medical/Disabled – 75;
- Women at Risk – 75.

Further detail can be found at;