New Zealand joins Australia and USA, announce introduction of tougher requirements for skilled overseas workers

The news comes a day after Australia said it would scrap a temporary visa for skilled overseas workers. NZ now joins US and Australia in introduction of such a measure.

New Zealand’s Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse said in a speech that government was unapologetic that industries relying on overseas workers are finding it harder to recruit people from abroad.

“We are absolutely committed to the principle of kiwis first,” he said.

The changes include

  • New income thresholds
    • To qualify as skilled, immigrants will need to get a job in which they earn at least the median income
      • To qualify as highly skilled, they will need to earn at least 150 percent of the median income
    • Other changes include a new three-year limit for workers with lower skills

Woodhouse said the changes would control the number and improve the quality of immigrants.

It is the second time New Zealand has tightened its immigration rules in the past six months and the latest changes come during an election year, when many people have expressed alarm at the immigration rate.

As per the stats of NZ government statistics, there are around 3.4 million people living in the country, out of which approximately 50% have atleast one parent born overseas.


Source/s: NZHerald, NZdotstat and MapsofWorld