Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Pacific visa categories to reopen

Immigration Minister, Michael Wood has announced the reopening of longstanding visa categories as the Government continues its work to deliver a responsive and streamlined immigration system to help ease workforce shortages

From 3 October, registrations for the Samoan Quota will reopen, and from 5 October registrations for the Pacific Access Category will reopen, the Minister said.

“This is a major milestone as the Pacific Access Category and the Samoan Quota are longstanding visa categories that enable people from our Pacific partner countries to become residents of New Zealand.”

“It recognises the historical relationship between New Zealand and Pacific, and we are thrilled to see these categories opening again to our Pacific neighbours,” said Mr Wood.

Collectively, these pathways will provide for up to 5,900 people to become residents over the next two years, helping reduce the impact of global labour shortages and help grow New Zealand’s economy, he said.

“Registrations for the ballots will now primarily be made online. The move to online will see a quicker and more streamlined process for registrants, as ballots are only open for one month.

“We also recognise the impact the move to online will have in some circumstances, and work has been done to ensure there are resources available to ensure registrants have all the information they need to apply online with ease.”

The 5,900 places over the next two years includes unused places from the 2020/2021 ballots which are being re-distributed. The Pacific Access Category unused ballots will be re-allocated across the 2022 and 2023 years, while the Samoan Quota ballots will be re-allocated over the four years from 2022 to 2025.  

“We look forward to welcoming more of our Pacific neighbours through these residence pathways,” Mr Wood said. 

The Samoan Quota registrations will be open from 3 October and close on 2 November, and registrations for the Pacific Access Category will be open from 5 October and close on 4 November.

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