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If a Royal Commonwealth Society survey is turned into action, it could soon become a lot easier for New Zealand residents to live and work in Australia, Canada, and the UK.
It was found that 58% of Britons, 70% of Australians, 75% of Canadians, and 82% of New Zealanders were in favour of visa-free access across the four nations.
The policy the survey proposes would strengthen the ties between Commonwealth nations which share a “unique bond” through a common head of state, as well as similar legal and economic system, the report says.
The survey found strong support for free labour mobility between the four nations, suggesting that more Commonwealth countries could be included.
There was overwhelming support for the changes from New Zealanders between 18 and 30, a group which also had the highest recorded support level across all measured demographics at 90%.
VUWSA president, Jonathan Gee, was “unsurprised” that this figure is so high. “I think students, and young people in general, are a very mobile people,” Gee said.
“Free labour mobility would allow young people to work in “expensive countries that often require an income to live in.”
Globalisation, education opportunities, and employment opportunities are just some of the reasons cited by students supporting the proposal.
Jelmer Burger, a third year commerce and law student, believes “the appeal is that [these] countries have strong economies and are culturally similar to ours.”
Third year sociology and anthropology student Rachael Brown, favours the proposal.
“Going through a visa process is time and resource consuming and the idea of having to be restricted to travelling in certain countries because of your nationality is pretty dated in the diversified, more fluid world we live in right now.”
If the proposal was to be implemented, New Zealand students would have greater education opportunities with increased access to overseas universities. Hayato Clarke, a recent biology graduate, said it would be good because students would “be able to choose a better education if they wanted to.”
However, restrictions on overseas borrowers could see students prevented from travelling abroad should the proposal go forward, something Gee believes “will be quite a big restriction as student loan debt reaches 15 billion.”