Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Pathways streamlined to make NZ home

From today, eligible skilled migrants with a job or a job offer in specific roles on the Straight to Residence pathway will be able to apply for residence, both from on shore and overseas, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced. 

The Minister said the move would help to relieve workforce shortages while providing meaningful humanitarian support.

“The Straight to Residence pathway provides an incentive for migrants who have skills in hard-to-fill, nationally significant roles that New Zealand needs to speed up our economic growth,” Mr Wood said. 

“This new pathway offers potential migrants, like health practitioners, engineers, construction and infrastructure workers, and IT professionals more certainty. The streamlined process makes it easier for employers to attract and hire people that will help address shortages in these highly skilled areas.

“This is one of three new residence pathways introduced as part of the Government’s immigration rebalance. Skilled migrants on the ‘Work to Residence’ and ‘Highly Paid’ resident pathways will be able to apply from 29 September 2023, once they have obtained 24 months of acceptable work in New Zealand,” he said.

The Government has also confirmed details of the next three years of the Refugee Quota Programme, including the composition of the 2022/23 quota.

“The Refugee Quota Programme is a reflection of New Zealand’s international humanitarian commitments to provide protection to people who are not able to return safely to their home country,” Minister Wood said.

“The programme is back at its full capacity and will resettle 1,500 refugees each year.

“This year, the proportion of places allocated to three of the four regions is changing to ensure we are best responding to the resettlement needs of each region. For example, we have increased the proportion of places allocated to refugees in both the Middle East and Africa from 15 to 20 percent respectively.

“As part of the 1,500 intake, 200 places will be allocated to resettle Syrian refugees, including Kurdish minorities, located in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, given the huge scale and prolonged nature of the Syrian refugee crisis and the coordinated international resettlement efforts.

“We are also pleased to be able to increase the number of emergency and urgent resettlement places for the quota from 35 to 100, as well as bringing forward the 200 places specifically set aside for Afghan refugees as a result of the Taliban takeover in 2021 to 200 places for the 2022/23 period.

“In addition to these places, Afghan refugees can be considered for resettlement to New Zealand as part of the Quota’s international allocations.

“These changes ensure that the programme remains responsive to the protection needs of refugees coming into New Zealand,” Mr Wood said.

More information on the Straight to Residence visa and application process can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website: Green List and highly paid skilled residence categories | Immigration New Zealand.

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