Fewer skilled immigrants applying to be NZ residents

The number of skilled immigrants applying to become permanent residents of New Zealand has fallen sharply, new figures show.

Although net migration to the country has been rising at rapid rates for the best part of two years, many of those entering NZ have been entering on temporary long-stay visas. For many skilled immigrants this is the first step in ultimately applying for permanent residency.

However, following changes made to the system earlier this year – including a point increase and higher minimum income requirements – there has been a clear drop in the number of permanent residence applications.

The latest Immigration New Zealand statistics show that 4,644 skilled migrants applied for residence between April and September, compared to 9,150 in the same period last year. During this time, overall resident approvals fell by 3,700.

Should this trend continue at the same rate for the remainder of the year, then resident numbers for the current financial year will be 29,000, compared to 47,684 the year before. This would equate to a 39 per cent fall. Michael Woodhouse, the country’s Immigration Minister at the time the changes were made, had been targeting closer to a 5 per cent drop.

These figures are likely to be warmly welcomed by the incoming New Zealand government, which has made cutting net migration one of its key priorities.

Article published 31st October 2017