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New Zealand

New Zealand Tightens Immigration Regulations to Reduce Number of Migrants

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse yesterday announced changes to the Government’s New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) for the next two years to help to reduce the number of new migrants.

The New Zealand Government is looking to tighten immigration numbers after weeks of pressure over record-high numbers of new migrants and working visa approvals.

Under the changes, the higher end of the planning range for new residents over the next two years would be reduced from 100,000 to 95,000. Those coming to New Zealand under the skilled migrant category would have to have 160 points before getting residency, rather than 140. The number of people allowed entry under the family category would be more than halved from 5500 to 2000. There would be a temporary ban on applications under the parent category – which has allowed any parents with adult children who have residence in New Zealand to also apply.

“Migrants make a valuable contribution to New Zealand both culturally and economically, and the Government periodically reviews all our immigration settings to make sure they are working as intended,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“While we are confident our immigration settings are working well, the NZRP is reviewed every couple of years to ensure we have the right number and skill mix of people gaining residence. s part of that review, today I am announcing a small change to the total number of people gaining residence. We will also be making some changes to better manage the Skilled Migrant and Family Categories at a time when demand for gaining residence under these categories continues to grow.”

“Increasing the points required to gain residence from 140 to 160 will moderate the growth in applications in the Skilled Migrant Category and enable us to lower the overall number of migrants gaining residence. Changes to the Family Category, including temporarily closing the Parent Category to new applications, will also reduce the total number of migrants being granted residence. Raising the points will also prioritise access for higher-skilled SMC migrants, ensuring we strike the right balance between attracting skilled workers that allow companies to grow and managing demand in a period of strong growth.”

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