More than 160,000 people became New Zealand residents in the past 15 months under the 2021 Resident Visa (2021RV) application scheme, Immigration Minister Michael Wood confirmed today.
“The 2021 Resident Visa is one of a number of measures the Government has taken to keep and attract workers to New Zealand to help fill the global skills shortage post COVID,” Mr Wood said.
“We created New Zealand’s largest one-off path to residence in late 2021 to give migrants certainty about their future here, and allow them to continue to put down roots.”
He said that within the 160,000 Kiwis who now call New Zealand home, the top occupations represented were nurses, early childhood education teachers, software engineers, and primary school teachers.
“We’re working with businesses to take practicable steps to unlock additional labour through the streamlined Accredited Employer Work Visa, the expansion of the Green List, reopening the Pacific Access Category and Samoa Quota, delivering the largest increase in a decade to the RSE scheme, and resuming the Skilled Migrant Category and Parent Category so as to strengthen our international offering.”
“Alongside the 2021 Resident Visa our immigration plan is starting to pay off with a continued trend of people choosing New Zealand. We’re seeing significant increases in migrant arrivals month on month since our boarders fully opened last year, and international migration numbers show our net migration is also steadily increasing.
“We’re also seeing huge demand for visitor and work visas, in particular the Working Holiday Scheme for which we have now granted over 53,300 visas, and welcomed over 33,900 of those holding these visas into the country.”
The Minister said 80% of applications had now been reviewed.
“We’ve been moving quickly to review applications and have reached this important milestone of 80% of 2021RV applications processed three months earlier than scheduled. The quick work to process the vast majority of applications in 15 months is equivalent to around five years of standard residence processing.”
“Although the vast majority of applications have now been decided I appreciate some applicants are still waiting to hear the outcome of their applications. I’m assured by INZ that they are working hard to process all remaining applications as quickly as possible,” Mr Wood said.