Jersey, Guernsey, and Isle of Man residents, who largely have British passports, have leaned on their respective governments to query the oddity, which has seen applicants for the popular working holiday scheme – for people aged 18 to 30 – snubbed.
Immigration New Zealand stated that visa rejections happened due to the abnormal status of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which are Crown dependencies – and have their own legislative assemblies, courts and tax systems. They do not form part of the United Kingdom and aren’t represented in the UK parliament. Residents, though are afforded British passports and several of the same rights as UK citizens.
“The Guernsey Border Agency is aware that a small number of Jersey residents have had New Zealand working holiday visa applications turned down, and that the matter is now being looked into by Jersey Customs and Immigration together with their colleagues in the UK Home Office,” Radio NZ quoted Guernsey Committee for Home Affairs deputy, Mary Lowe, as saying.
A States of Jersey spokesperson added: “The service has been advised by the New Zealand authorities that the scheme is only available to British citizens who are ordinarily resident in the UK.
“The Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories are not part of the UK. We have been in touch with our colleagues in the UK for clarification.”
Immigration New Zealand assistant general manager of visa services Peter Elms noted: “However the fact that some applicants living on the Channel Islands or Isle Of Man have recently been declined a UK working holiday scheme visa, despite meeting all other criteria, has highlighted an anomaly in our practice.
“Immigration New Zealand will be reviewing the process and corresponding communications.”