More than 100,000 new Kiwis now call New Zealand home after the 2021 Resident Visa reached the halfway point of approvals, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood announced today.
“This is another important milestone, highlighting the positive impact our responsive and streamlined immigration system is having by providing comfort to migrant families and kiwi businesses,” Mr Wood said.
“These new Kiwis bring valuable skills that help our businesses and economy grow, including 3,721 health workers, 11,368 construction workers and 576 teachers, people who want to be here and have certainty about their ability to stay here and make New Zealand their home. Over the coming months we can look forward to thousands more critical workers committing their future to New Zealand.”
More than 53,000 of the 106,000 applications for the Government’s one-off, simplified path to residence have got the green light in the nine months since the application process opened, providing a way forward for 100,000 migrants and their families and certainty for New Zealand businesses.
“The Government continues to provide pathways to help relieve workforce shortages. We have just opened the Green List Straight to Residence Pathway, confirmed this year’s Refugee quota, confirmed the reopening of the Pacific Access Category, brought forward places set aside for Afghani refugees, and we continue to see great progress in the 2021 Resident Visa,” Minister Wood said.
“The 2021 Resident Visa gives migrants certainty about their future here, allowing them to continue to put down roots. It is helping reunite many families who were separated by the border restrictions that prevented COVID-19 entering the community.
“Employers asked the Government to provide more certainty to migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 Resident Visa delivers on that. Through this pathway employers can retain their settled and skilled migrant workers, reflecting the critical part they play in our economy, essential workforce and communities.”
He said interest in the 2021 Resident Visa has exceeded expectations.
“It shows that New Zealand is an attractive place to live and stay for migrants,” the Minister said.