A Solomon Islands passport holder receives her Cook Islands permanent resident (PR). MFAI/22110603
Fifteen non-Cook Islands children under the age of 18 years were awarded Cook Islands Permanent Resident (PR) certificates after meeting criteria stipulated in Part 5 (Permanent Residents) of the Cook Islands Immigration Act 2021.
youngest of the 15 was six years old with the oldest at 17 years old – both
born and raised in the Cook Islands.
a statement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration said all 15 recipients
had met the criteria for PR as eligible children and PR by descent, the provisions
of which are spelt out in the 2021 Act.
the 13 recipients of PR as Eligible Children, seven hold passports for the
Philippines, three hold New Zealand passports, and one each hold passports for
the United States of America, the Solomon Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga
passports. Of the two approved PR by descent – both hold passports for the
Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) Mark Brown said:
“These children have lived all their lives in the Cook Islands. They have
schooled here, participated in our cultural and community events with their
families and are part of our society. The Cook Islands is their home, and the
Act not only gives effect to that, it provides these children the security and
belonging they deserve.”
of the recipients met the criteria as Eligible Children and two received PR by
descent as they were born in the Cook Islands to parents who held permanent
residence at the time they were born – a provision available under the Cook
Islands Constitution prior to November 2021.
are the first recipients of PR as eligible children under the 2021 Act,” said
MFAI principal immigration officer Kairangi Samuela. “The criteria for
Permanent Residence as an eligible child is the child is under the age of
eighteen at the time of application; must have lived continuously in the Cook
Islands for at least five years or more prior to the application; and a parent
holds Cook Islands Permanent Residence.”
provision in the Act also allows the Cook Islands to meet its obligations under
the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child – to ensure Children
are provided a place of residence and security the same as their parents who
hold permanent residence.”
The Eligible Children provision under
the 2021 Act replaces prior provisions under the Entry Residence and Departures
Act 1971/72 that required a person be over the age of 18 years to apply for PR.
parent commented the while their child was too young to fully understand the
significance of the PR award, they would surely appreciate the honour and
privilege it provides when they are older.