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Contemporary family sponsorship and older parent reunification immigration under New Zealand’s neoliberal immigration regime

Liu, Liangni Sally; Ran, Guanyu Jason


Liangni Sally Liu


A neoliberal immigration regime often takes an “economic” lens to frame and reframe immigration regulation based on a rational cost–benefit analysis of what immigration might bring to immigration-receiving countries. Under such a regime, skilled and business immigration is framed as an “economic” immigration category, which can channel in financial and human capital, while family and international humanitarian immigration is regarded as a “social” immigration category assumed to produce immigrants who are more dependent and not able to bring immediate and direct economic gain for immigrant-receiving countries. In New Zealand (NZ), such a neoliberal trend is very much alive within its contemporary immigration policy development. The paper aims to illustrate the neoliberal trend of NZ immigration policy that relates to the entry of immigrants’ family members, especially the older parents. In order to achieve this goal, a detailed review of the evolving NZ family immigration policy over the last three decades and a descriptive analysis of NZ family immigration intake will be presented. By combining the policy review and descriptive analysis together, the paper can inform a better understanding of how the neoliberal immigration regime has had an impact on the patterns of family immigration in NZ.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 10, 2022
Publication Date 2022-03
Deposit Date Dec 5, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 6, 2022
Journal Journal of Population Research
Print ISSN 1443-2447
Electronic ISSN 1835-9469
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 1
Pages 73-95
Keywords Family immigration, Immigration policy, Immigration regime, Neoliberalism, New Zealand
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