The New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) is undertaking a review of family sponsored immigration policy. Both the Family Category and the Humanitarian Category policies are being reviewed. However, very little is known about the ways the Humanitarian Category is being used and who is using it. The purpose of this research was to fill in some of these knowledge gaps.
The research objectives were:
- To establish how the sponsors of Humanitarian Category applications are related to the applicants; and
- To determine the incidence of the various types of humanitarian circumstances.
Data mining the NZIS’s electronic and physical records was the main technique used. The NZIS’s Management Information System was used to produce a list of the 570 Humanitarian applications approved during the 12 months from 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000. A questionnaire was developed and staff in branches filled these in by retrieving physical files and transcribing information. The completed questionnaires were returned to the researchers, entered into a database and analysed. Of the 570 files listed, 363 files, or 63.7 percent, were located.