NZ Immigration Programme to attract talent 1/4

Lianne Dalziel Immigration

NZ Immigration Programme to attract talent

The government today announced changes to the way it manages residence
approvals, with the unveiling of its New Zealand Immigration Programme, which
focuses on attracting talent.

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said the Programme is the government's
response to calls for New Zealand to attract more skilled and business migrants.
The New Zealand Immigration Programme streamlines the existing categories under
which people can be granted New Zealand residence, and adjusts the criteria
within the categories to better reflect the way migrants are responding to
residence policy.

"Underpinning the Programme I am announcing today, is our desire to ensure
that talent tops the list of residence approvals. To achieve this we are
developing a Talent Visa policy.

"Until now, talent has taken the back seat to the other, demand driven,
categories. As a result skilled and business migrants became a de facto residual
category, making up numbers once the other categories were filled. We were only
able to keep the number of skilled and business migrants up by holding the
passmark in the General Skills Category," Lianne Dalziel said.

The new system sets the total number of residence approvals at 45,000 each
year for the next three years. This includes a tolerance of 10% built into the
system, meaning that approvals in any year could be around 50,000.

It also introduces three residence approval streams that operate
independently of each other. Each stream has separate sub-approval levels. The
three streams are:

  • Skilled/Business 60 % of
  • Family Sponsored 32 % of
  • International/Humanitarian 8 % of

    This means there will be at least 27,000 skilled and business migrants each

    "The Skilled/Business Stream will also include the Talent Visa when it is
    introduced, which will be one way of allowing highly employable people to move
    from temporary to residence status. The Talent Visa policy is still being
    developed within a wider review of ways to attract talented people to work and
    live in New Zealand. This reflects the changing patterns of employment around
    the world and acknowledges that a significant number of people apply for
    residence while they are working in New Zealand," Lianne Dalziel said.

    The frameworks of the Family Sponsored and International/Humanitarian Streams
    have also been adjusted to recognise the diversity of migrant family
    relationships and the circumstances of people who are applying for residence.

    "We're taking a realistic view about which family members residents can apply
    to bring to New Zealand. Previously, some categories were not flexible enough to
    meet the changing needs of migrant communities so others were being used for
    family reunification when this was not their purpose. So we've broadened the
    definition of a family member for residence purposes while tightening up on
    ensuring those being sponsored into New Zealand can support themselves when they
    get here. We've also ensured that family-reunification polices are in the Family
    Sponsored Stream, not mixed up in other categories.

    "The New Zealand Immigration Programme offers a practical approach to
    managing residence approvals. It demonstrates that we expect our policy to be
    realistic, flexible and fair. And it sends a clear message that talented
    residents are a priority for New Zealand and their place in the approval process
    is fixed for the next three years", Lianne Dalziel said.