The immigration minister of New Zealand says there are unsustainable numbers coming into the country

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New Zealand will tighten its visa rules for some migrants in a bid to reduce overall immigration numbers, as the island country’s has in recent years have seen “unsustainable” levels of migration, according to Immigration Minister Erica Standford.
Stanford announced changes on Sunday to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) program, the country’s primary temporary work visa program, which she said would ensure that New Zealand can still attract the skilled workers it needs while also reducing the vulnerability of migrants to exploitation.
The AEWV was introduced in mid-2022 to help fill workforce shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2023, however, migration swelled to a near record of 173,000 new non-New Zealand citizens taking up residence.
At the same time, New Zealanders have been moving out of the country.
“We had to make some changes now because we’ve got high migrant exploitation and unsustainable numbers coming into the country,” Stanford said according to state broadcaster Radio New Zealand.
Changes to the visa program include the introduction of English language requirements for low-skilled jobs and setting a minimum skills and work experience threshold for most employer work visas.
The maximum continuous stay for most low-skilled roles has also been reduced from five years to three years.


As the island nation has seen “unsustainable” levels of migration in recent years, New Zealand will tighten its visa requirements for certain immigrants in an effort to lower overall immigration numbers, according to Immigration Minister Erica Standford.

Stanford stated on Sunday that the country’s main temporary work visa program, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) program, will undergo changes. According to her, these changes will guarantee that New Zealand can continue to draw in the skilled labor it requires while also lessening the susceptibility of immigrants to exploitation.

The AEWV was implemented in the middle of 2022 to assist in addressing the labor shortage that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But migration exploded in 2023, with nearly record numbers of non-New Zealanders moving here. Meanwhile, there has been an exodus of New Zealanders from the nation. The nation lost 47,000 citizens in a record amount last year.

While there were still skill shortages in some areas, Stanford added that “getting our immigration settings right is critical to this government’s plan to rebuild the economy” and that the government needed to “ensure that New Zealanders are put to the front of the line for jobs where there are no skill shortages.”. “.

“We have to implement some changes as a result of high levels of migrant exploitation and unsustainable immigration levels,” Stanford stated, as reported by state broadcaster Radio New Zealand. “There were therefore certain things we had to take care of right away. “.

A minimum skill and work experience threshold has been set for the majority of employer work visas, and English language proficiency requirements have been introduced for low-skilled jobs as part of the program’s changes. Many low-skilled roles now have a three-year maximum continuous stay instead of the previous five-year maximum.

An earlier plan to include 11 jobs—such as fitters, turners, and welders—in the list of professions eligible for a quick route to residency was also abandoned by officials.

Before hiring migrants, employers must verify that they meet the requirements and that no “suitable and available New Zealander” applied for the position prior to it being offered to a non-New Zealander.

According to Stanford, many of the modifications represented a “return to pre-pandemic settings that better balanced the needs of businesses with the wider interests of New Zealand” rather than actual new legislation. ****.

Certain jobs in the care and transportation industries will not need to meet these standards.

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