Immigration in 2021


Businesses looking to recruit skilled workers from overseas face continued challenges from a closed border. The Covid-19 Response Minister, Chris Hipkins has been quoted saying that travel restrictions will likely be in place for another 12 to 18 months.


We hope the government will start making decisions shortly on certain immigration issues that are causing problems.


These include:

  • Easing border restrictions for international workers to fill skill shortages where there are clearly no Kiwis available.

  • Setting the next residence programme (this determines how many resident visas are approved by Immigration NZ). The last programme expired 31/12/2019.

  • Reopening the pathway for skilled workers who are in New Zealand to apply for residence. Many have been working here for years and cannot plan a future while the Skilled Migrant category remains suspended.

  • Prioritising Investor Visa application processing. Almost NZD 3 billion is sitting in a queue in Wellington. We risk losing these precious investment dollars and the amazing human talent that come with these funds. For every $1 invested to meet visa requirements another $2 to $3 is invested elsewhere in our economy (that is around $9 to $12 billion of potential investment).

  • Reviewing the Entrepreneur Visa policy. If this visa were modified, then people with real business acumen and funds could be working/investing alongside Kiwi businesses to help them grow as well as protecting and/or creating jobs. Currently most Entrepreneur applications are declined.


Immigration can support New Zealand’s economic recovery while still protecting the border.

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