New NZ Immigration Rules Announced for Skilled Workers

NZ Immigration Minister Michael WoodhouseNew Zealand is introducing new immigration rules for skilled workers to encourage them to settle them in the regions outside Auckland. The new immigration measures include increased points for foreign skilled workers who intend to live in regional areas. The changes also provide 100 per cent increase in points for entrepreneurs who plan to setup businesses in the regions.  Prime Minister John Key announced the immigration changes at the National Party conference in Auckland on Sunday July 26, 2015. It is expected that new rules will help to develop the New Zealand’s regional areas by attracting more skilled workers and entrepreneurs from across the world. The rules will come into effect later this year in November.

NZ Prime Minister John Key announced new immigration rules making it easier for the skilled workers and business people by granting additional points for immigration selection criteria. The main focus of the immigration changes is to lure the immigrants to settle in the regions outside Auckland where they will have to stay for at least 12 months. Currently they are required to live for three months in the region and then they can move to other areas.

Some experts have concerns about the new immigration policy and think that immigrants will use these rules as back door to enter New Zealand. There is no mechanism to stop them to move to Auckland after 12 months but just by showing intention to settle in the suburbs would allow them to qualify for immigration.

Key Changes in Immigration Rules:

  • Boosting the bonus points for Skilled Migrants applying for residence with a job offer outside Auckland from 10 to 30 points.
  • Doubling the points for entrepreneurs planning to set up businesses in the regions under the Entrepreneur Work Visa from 20 to 40 points.
  • Streamlining the labor market test to provide employers with more certainty, earlier in the visa application process.

New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said in a statement, “Currently, many new migrants settle in Auckland, which faces infrastructure challenges as it transforms into a truly international city.” Mr. Woodhouse further added, “At the same time, business owners in other parts of New Zealand often struggle to find enough skilled workers to meet their demands.”

The new immigration rules will come into force on November 1, later this year.


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