Immigration New Zealand receiving fewer applications

New figures show there has been a significant fall in the number of skilled visa applications received by Immigration New Zealand since a higher points threshold was announced earlier this month.

On 11th October, the NZ Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse revealed that the number of points skilled workers need to apply for residence had been increased to 160 from 140. It was also announced that Immigrants with a lower score but a job offer can no longer apply for residence as they had been able to in the past.

And the latest Immigration New Zealand figures show that the increased points score is already having an impact on applications.

The latest Immigration New Zealand figures reveal 938 people reached the new threshold compared with 2,072 in the previous ballot a fortnight before.

However, separate figures show that net migration has hit a new all-time high, confounding expectations that the tide may have turned.

On Friday, Statistics New Zealand said that net migration recorded a net gain of 69,954 in the year to 30th September, surpassing the previous record set in August.

Many experts had been forecasting gradual slowdown in net migration from mid-2016 as foreigners who arrived on temporary work or student visas over the past three years start to depart.

“Certainly arrivals of those on student visas have slowed noticeably on tighter enforcement of entrance criteria,” said Westpac senior economist Anne Boniface. “However, for now, this is being swamped by a lift in arrivals of those on work visas, which were up 14 per cent in September on a year ago.” 

Boniface also declared that there had been a strong increase in non-New Zealander arrivals over the past year, in particular those arriving from the UK.

Article published 25th October 2016