New Zealand set to implement stricter visa rules

New Zealand is set to implement stricter visa regulations for certain migrants as part of the coalition government’s efforts to reform an immigration system they describe as leading to “unsustainable” migration levels. Stats NZ reported that the country experienced near-record high annual net migration, with over 173,000 non-New Zealand citizens arriving in the year ending December last year.

Immigration Minister Erica Stanford announced on Sunday that changes are coming to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), the primary temporary work visa introduced in mid-2022 to address post-pandemic workforce shortages. The modifications include the introduction of English language requirements for low-skilled positions and the establishment of a minimum threshold for skills and work experience for most employer-sponsored work visas. Additionally, the allowable continuous stay for low-skilled jobs will be cut from five years to three years, effective immediately.

Stanford highlighted the government’s aim to attract and retain highly skilled migrants, such as secondary teachers, to fill existing skill shortages while ensuring New Zealanders are prioritized for jobs where no shortages exist. With a population of approximately 5.1 million, New Zealand’s significant rise in migrant numbers post-pandemic has sparked concerns about its impact on inflation, though a Reserve Bank-commissioned study found no conclusive link between migration levels and inflation.

The announced changes also aim to protect migrants from exploitation. Following complaints of exploitation under the AEWV scheme, a Public Service Commission review found that a small number of employers were exploiting the system to take payments from individuals wishing to move to New Zealand. The introduction of an English language requirement is expected to help migrants better understand their rights and voice concerns about employers more effectively.

In a move reflecting a tighter immigration policy, the government decided against expanding the Green List, which identifies highly skilled roles in short supply, to include 11 new occupations, such as welders, and fitters and turners. This decision comes as neighboring Australia announces plans to significantly reduce its migrant intake over the next two years.

Latest articles

Criminals barred from changing names in BC

Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia, will now prevent individuals who have committed serious crimes from changing their names. This decision follows revelations that a...

Climate crisis making economic crisis worse

The economic impact of climate change is six times worse than previously believed, with global warming poised to reduce wealth on a scale comparable...

UK: Rishi Sunak-Akshata Murty’s wealth rise by £120m in a year

The personal fortune of Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, has increased by £120 million as the next general election approaches, according to...

Is US economy still struggling?

The United States finds itself amidst an intriguing economic surge, which carries implications not just for its own trajectory but also for global power...

Related articles