New Zealand Tightens Visa Rules Due to High Migration Levels

New Zealand Tightens Visa Rules Due to High Migration Levels

New Zealand is making some big changes to its visa rules after seeing a huge increase in the number of people moving to the country. Last year, more than 173,000 non-New Zealand citizens arrived, which is almost as high as it's ever been. The government says this level of migration just isn't sustainable, so they're taking action.

The main visa affected is the accredited employer worker visa (AEWV). This visa was introduced in 2022 to help fill job shortages caused by the pandemic. But now, the government thinks it needs to be updated.

One of the changes is that people applying for low-skilled jobs will need to speak English. This will help them understand their rights and report any problems they have with their employers. The government also wants to make sure that migrants aren't being taken advantage of by bad employers.

Another change is that there will be minimum requirements for skills and work experience for most employer work visas. This means that people coming to work in New Zealand will need to have certain qualifications and experience to get a visa.

The maximum time people can stay in low-skilled roles will also be reduced from five years to three years. This is to make sure that New Zealanders have the best chance of getting these jobs if they want them.

The government says it wants to focus on bringing in highly skilled migrants, like secondary teachers, where there's a shortage of workers. They also want to make sure that New Zealanders are first in line for jobs where there are enough workers already.

This isn't the first time the government has looked at the AEWV scheme. There have been complaints of exploitation, with some employers taking advantage of migrants. The government hopes these changes will help stop that from happening.

The Public Service Commission did a review of the AEWV scheme and found that a few bad employers were causing problems. By making sure migrants speak English, it will be easier for them to speak up if they're being treated unfairly.

Interestingly, the government had plans to add 11 new roles to the Green List, which are jobs that New Zealand has trouble filling with local workers. However, they've decided not to go ahead with this plan for now. This could mean that they want to focus more on training New Zealanders to fill these roles instead of bringing in migrants.

Australia, New Zealand's neighbor, is also seeing a lot of people moving there. They've announced plans to reduce the number of migrants they accept by half over the next two years.

Overall, these changes to New Zealand's visa rules show that the government is taking migration seriously. They want to make sure that migrants are treated fairly and that New Zealanders have the best chance of getting jobs in their own country. It's a balancing act, but one that the government thinks is necessary for the country's future.

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