NZ businesses hail ‘biggest immigration change in decades’

New Zealand businesses

NZ businesses hail ‘biggest immigration change in decades’

New Zealand businesses welcomed the new resident visa as the ‘biggest immigration change New Zealand has seen in decades.’

Business leaders and the community in New Zealand celebrated the government’s decision to allow critical workers and their families a pathway to permanent residency in the country, following the announcement of the new, one-off residency visa by Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi.

As part of the new visa, an estimated 165,000 temporary work visa holders and their families would be fast-tracked for permanent residency in New Zealand.

Kirk Hope, chief executive of Business NZ, said the government’s decision to introduce the simplified pathway to residency in New Zealand recognised the significant contribution of temporary workers to the country during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also said that many temporary workers had to be active on the frontlines while being separated from their families and having uncertainty surrounding their stay in the country looming over their heads.

Moreover, New Zealand cannot afford to lose skilled individuals from its workforce if it is to maintain its economic momentum and remain globally competitive, he said.

New Zealand’s Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive Brett O’Reilly also welcomed the decision to introduce the new resident visa for temporary workers.

He applauded the introduction of the new visa as being the ‘biggest immigration change in decades’ and said that it would provide relief and certainty for New Zealand businesses that are reliant on skilled migrants.

Moreover, New Zealand’s Aged Care Association also expressed joy at the introduction of the new visa by saying that thousands of temporary healthcare workers in 670 rest homes would now have the option to commit to a long future in New Zealand.

According to Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi, New Zealand’s new resident visa would provide a pathway to residency for around 110,000 temporary migrant workers and their families, totalling an estimated 165,000 people.

Among the temporary skilled migrants who will be able to apply for permanent residency in New Zealand are 5,000 health and aged care workers, around 9,000 primary industry workers, more than 800 teachers, and portions of the 27,000 construction and manufacturing workers in the country.

Applications for the new resident visa will be opened for temporary migrants in New Zealand between December and July. Critical workers who arrive in New Zealand before the end of July 2022 will also be eligible for New Zealand’s new residency pathway.