WORLD : N.Z. Plans Levy on Immigrants

FROM TIMES WIRE SERVICES

New Zealand plans a levy on immigrants to pay for a fund to help them settle into the country, Immigration Minister Annette King said today.

The money, to be charged when an immigrant's application for permament residence was accepted, would pay for help, including English-language classes, she said in a statement.

The fee has yet to be set but will be imposed soon.

Immigrants have traditionally come from Britain, other European countries and the Pacific Islands. But arrivals from Southeast Asia, notably ethnic Chinese from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia, have increased strongly in recent years.

The new fund would also help to research the impact of increased migration on New Zealand's traditional lifestyle.

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