6 Oct 2015

Syrian asylum-seekers already on NZ's doorstep

1:03 pm on 6 October 2015

New figures show some Syrian asylum-seekers have arrived in New Zealand since the start of the year.

Immigration New Zealand statistics show six Syrians have so far arrived at the border seeking asylum.

The agency has not yet clarified if decisions have already been made about the asylum applications.

The six people in question are not part of the intake of 750 Syrian refugees, including an emergency intake of 600, announced by the Government last month.

A five-person team from Immigration New Zealand will head to Lebanon next week to select 250 Syrian refugees to come to New Zealand next year.

Team leader Karen Read said refugees referred by the United Nations would come to Beirut to be interviewed by Immigration New Zealand officers.

She said acceptance would be based on a variety of criteria, including the credibility of a person's claim, any security risk they pose, health problems and how well they were likely to settle in New Zealand.

Ms Read said decisions would be made on the next wave of Syrian refugees within a month of the visit, so that they can arrive in New Zealand in January.