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Shocking Incident in New Zealand. Visa Applicants Should Not Worry!

By now, all of you must be aware of the unfortunate and shocking incident that rocked Christchurch and the whole of New Zealand on Friday 15th March 2019. News sources say that forty-nine people have been killed and 48 wounded in shootings which took place at two mosques in Christchurch, in what is being called the nation’s deadliest attack. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as a terrorist attack and one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”. Christchurch, with about 388,000 residents, is the biggest city on New Zealand’s South Island, along with the Pacific Ocean coast. This is the second tragedy in eight years where the first one was an earthquake in the town that destroyed buildings and left 185 people dead, in 2011.

A gunman, named Brenton Tarrant, who identified himself as an Australian live-streamed the rampage at Al Noor mosque to Facebook. This unprecedented attack has amassed massive condemnation from across the globe with people paying their respects and showing solidarity with the families of the victims and unity against such a heinous crime of violent hatred and racism. Clearly, Tarrant’s actions do not reflect the culture of diversity, kindness, compassion and openness towards outsiders which New Zealand represents. We, at RGV, are extremely saddened by the incident. Our sympathies are with everyone affected and we pray for victims and families of the deceased.

New Zealand, adjudged to be the second most peaceful country in the world in the 2018 Global Peace Index, has been a very tolerant country and a home to immigrants of multiple faiths from all part of the world. It has given refuge to immigrants from war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan in the 1990s and 2000s. With the Prime Minister’s assurance, all of us are confident that it will stay peaceful as it has been over the years and incidents such as this cannot deter the spirit of New Zealanders or the people who have made this country their home. Imagine, the kind of broadmindedness in a country which has a prime minister who is just 38 years old. The government and its foreign policy are more progressive than most of the first world nations across the world.

For students seeking higher studies in New Zealand, such an incident will not affect their visas in any manner. We will keep you all posted about any developments in this regard, as soon as we hear from the immigration department.

In such fragile circumstances, let us pray that things get back to normal as soon as possible. Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the horrific incident. We are sure New Zealand will rise above this to be the best place to visit, study, work or reside, ever!

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