Becoming a Permanent Resident of the Cook Islands either In Own Right or on Spouse grounds has been a journey which for 247 people will be awarded on Friday morning at the Are Karioi Nui/National Auditorium on Friday 15th of July 2022. They are the first cohort of people to have met the comprehensive Permanent Resident criteria under Cook Islands Immigration Regulations 2022 and have been invited to receive their PR certificates after the reciting of the Oath of Allegiance to the Cook Islands in the presence of His Excellency Sir Tom Marsters, Queens Representative. This number includes 12 people who were approved PR by the discretion by the Prime Minister as Minister of Immigration.
Of the 247 recipients 11 are from the Outer Islands with 3 from Pukapuka and 1 from Palmerston whom due to transportation requirements will be reciting the oath over zoom in front of the QR next week.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration approved the applications on the recommendation of the Principal Immigration Officer Kairangi Samuela that the applicants had provided the required documents as evidence they met the required criteria for PR and those in the Minister’s discretion show that their home is in the Cook Islands but for various reasons including medical and educational purposes had to be out of country for certain periods of time.
The Criteria for those applying in their own right and as spouses of Cook Islanders and Permanent residence included having lived continuously in the Cook Islands for at least 5 years or more for NZ citizens and 10 years or more for all other Nationals. This also meant having spent at least 9 months of each year of the relevant period in the Cook Islands, provide evidence of having completed 312 hours of community service within the relevant period, and provision of Statutory declarations and character reference from the Aronga Mana of the village they live in as well as members of the Community.
Prime Minister Mark Brown said that receiving PR is a momentous occasion and a privilege provided to Non Cook Islanders who have shown their commitment and investment in the Cook Islands as their home either in their own right or as spouses of Cook Islanders and PR. “We are a small country in terms of population said the Prime Minister, and we can easily identify the contributions of PR recipients to the Cook Islands in our business, infrastructure and social development and we also pay homage to those who have passed on for their contributions to our development as a Nation”.
Over huge number of people are expected to be in attendance at the ceremony with families and friends of the recipients being expected to attend as well as Government officials, House of Ariki and Aronga mana.
For those who for various reasons are not in country to attend the ceremony on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration will publicise the opportunity within the next 12 months for another PR ceremony as required under the Act.
All recipients are requested to attend the dress rehearsal for the Ceremony to be held on Thursday 14th July 2022, 1pm at the National Auditorium, Tupapa Maraerenga. This will ensure that on the day of the official ceremony, all recipients and their family and friends in attendance will be sure to have a seamless event.
We anticipated these numbers as it was nearly 10 years ago that we had the last Permanent resident process said Samuela and the number of spaces available in the “own right category” due to previous recipients having passed away or are over the age of 75. The Immigration Act 2021 requires that PR calls be made every 3 years.
The names of those who have been approved PR can be found on the MFAI website www.mfai.gov.ck. All queries to this press release can be submitted to [email protected]