New Zealand is planning to have stricter norms to access its skilled work visas. The announcement was made just a day after a similar decision was taken by United States and neighboring Australia on immigration.
New Zealand’s immigration minister echoed the words of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump when he said he was taking a “Kiwis-first approach to immigration.” This is done to ensure jobs are offered to maximum Australians and Americans.
Ever since New Zealand’s Sept. 23 general election, migration has turned into a hot topic of debate and discussion. Immigration minister Michael Woodhouse said “These changes are designed to strike the right balance … and encourage employers to take on more Kiwis and invest in the training to upskill them.”
As part of the various changes that will be introduced later this year, a minimum income requirement has also been added. This way it becomes more difficult for family members to join visa holders. It also puts some restrictions on the duration that seasonal workers can stay in New Zealand.
New Zealand economy’s gross domestic product growth has been on a high in the world due to the growth in new arrivals. However, opposition parties and the central bank have demanded for a review of current policies due to the decreasing wages growth and soaring house prices spurred by the influx.
There has been a severe shortage of workers and companies in areas including technology and construction. Many of these sectors have been recruiting their workers from offshore.
As per the latest changes, employers will have to provide at least NZ$49,000 ($34,530.30) as income for anyone entering on a prioritised “skilled.” Those earning more than NZ$73,000 would be highly skilled. ($1 = 1.4190 New Zealand dollars)