New Zealand tightens visa rules amid near record migration

Last year, a near record 173,000 people migrated to New Zealand

Published - April 07, 2024 12:43 pm IST - SYDNEY

New Zealand said on April 7 that it was making immediate changes to its employment visa program after a near-record migration last year which it said was "unsustainable".

The changes include measures such as introducing English language requirement for low skilled jobs and setting a minimum skills and work experience threshold for most employer work visas. The maximum continuous stay for most low skilled roles will also be reduced to three years from five years.

"The Government is focused on attracting and retaining the highly skilled migrants such as secondary teachers, where there is a skill shortage," Immigration Minister Erica Stanford said in a statement.

"At the same time we need to ensure that New Zealanders are put to the front of the line for jobs where there are no skills shortages," she said.

Last year, a near record 173,000 people migrated to New Zealand, the statement said.

New Zealand, which has a population of about 5.1 million, has seen a rapid growth in its migrant numbers since the end of the pandemic, raising concerns last year that it was fanning inflation.

Neighbouring Australia, which has also seen a big jump in migrants, has said it would halve its migrant intake over the next two years.

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