Immigration reset – are you affected?

Last month the government delivered a speech in Parliament announcing plans to reset the way immigration is managed. Clearly, a signal for change but not a lot of detail was discussed. The highlights from the speech are:

  • Employers should learn to be less reliant on lower-skilled temporary migrant workers by upskilling kiwis.

  • Work rights for partners of temporary workers will be reviewed.

  • Skilled Migrant residence settings set to change. The review starts later in 2021.

  • Increasing border exemptions to assist economic recovery while the border remains closed.

  • Launch an Investment Attraction strategy to attract international investment.

  • Attract people to New Zealand who will make large, long term investments into business and jobs.

  • Attract more highly skilled migrants.

  • Increased resources to tackle migrant exploitation.

  • Move more visa applications online. The end of paper-based visa applications is insight.

There was no clear messaging on when or how this reset will roll out. We would like to see genuine consultation with the business community and immigration advice industry to ensure New Zealand has the smartest set of immigration policies to take our country forward. Resetting immigration with the clear suggestion it will lead to cutting back migrant workers at a time New Zealand is suffering from massive labour shortages seems counterintuitive to growing the economy.

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