More temporary skilled workers entering New Zealand

Changes to immigration rules in New Zealand have not stemmed the number of temporary work visas being awarded to foreign skilled workers.

New figures show that in the year to the end of July – the NZ financial year – more than 228,000 work visas were approved. This is up by 4,000 on the previous financial year.

Under changes introduced last August, skilled workers earning below a salary threshold of NZ$49,000 or NZ$73,000 depending on their skills have to leave New Zealand after three years and cannot reapply for a year.

It was believed that this would put immigrants off applying for work visas due to the short-term nature of the visa. So far, though, the figures suggest that this hasn’t been the case.

However, there has been a drop in the number of new permanent residents arriving to live in New Zealand. The figures show that there were 37,000 new residents last year; 10,000 fewer than in the previous financial year.

The number of overseas students entering the country also dropped by around 2,000 people.

That means Immigration New Zealand has met the previous government’s lowered planning range of 85,000 new residents over two years.

The parent category was frozen and the skilled migrant points’ threshold was raised to bring down the number of people eligible for residence.

Article published 12th July 2018