New Zealand tightens visa rules; will Indians be impacted?

New Zealand tightens visa rules; will Indians be impacted?

New Zealand tightens visa rules; will Indians be impacted?

As per the latest development, New Zealand has announced immediate modifications to its employment visa program, in response to a near-record influx of migrants last year. If reports are to go by, it has deemed it as unsustainable. This decision follows a similar move that was made by neighbouring Australia, which also experienced a significant increase in migration and aims to halve its migrant intake over the next two years.

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Here are the changes that have been implemented by the New Zealand Government:

– Implementing a mandate for proficiency in the English language for migrants seeking employment in lower-skilled level 4 and 5 roles.

– Setting a baseline requirement for skills and work experience for the majority of Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) positions.- Mandating that employers seeking authorisation to recruit migrants for level 4 and 5 positions must interact with Work and Income.

– Lowering the maximum duration of continuous stay for the majority of level 4 and 5 roles from five years to three years.

– Disestablishing the franchisee accreditation category, allowing these businesses to apply to bring in overseas workers through standard, high-volume, or triangular employment accreditation.

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Referring to this, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford stressed that these immediate changes to the Accredited Employer Worker Visa (AEWV) scheme aim to ensure New Zealand attracts needed skills while reducing migrants’ vulnerability to exploitation. She stated their government’s focus on attracting and retaining highly skilled migrants, such as secondary teachers, to address skill shortages. Additionally, Stanford added that they are prioritising New Zealanders for jobs where no skill shortages exist.

New Zealand tightens visa rules; will Indians be impacted?

These adjustments will enhance the scheme’s integrity and help prevent migrant exploitation, aligning with recommendations from the recent Bestwick review, which identified significant issues with AEWV processes. Implementing an English language requirement aims to empower migrants to understand their rights and address concerns about employers early on.

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If records are to go by, last year, nearly 173,000 individuals migrated to New Zealand, which is actually nearing a record high. The country, with a population of approximately 5.1 million, has experienced rapid migrant growth since the pandemic’s end, sparking concerns about inflation.

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