NZ Government courts wealthy; says priests are not essential

Wealthy foreigners looking for residency status are being courted by New Zealand as prospective immigrants.

Stuff reports, a team of five immigration officials – including one in Europe and another in North America –are still promoting “investor interest in New Zealand” so high net-worth investors can enter the country as soon as the borders re-open.

However, according to the New Zealand Government, priests and religious workers are considered unnecessary to New Zealand.

As well as the courted wealthy, exemptions to COVID border restrictions see fishing guides, beauticians, knitting machine operators, insurance investigators, industrial spray painters, bicycle mechanics and tour guides as exempt border occupations.

The list of exempted occupations also includes civil celebrants.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi says he is considering a revamp of the skilled migrant category.

“Decisions around the scope and timing of any such review are currently under consideration. No decisions on settings or planning range have been made at this stage.”

Nor have any decisions been made on re-starting the selection of expressions of interest for skilled workers. This will be looked at again by the end of next month, Faafoi says.

Immigration lawyer Elly Fleming has some suggestions for the skilled migrant category review. As an example, it could look at adjusting settings, such as minimum remuneration limits for lower-level skilled jobs, she says.

“It’s really difficult to predict what the government’s priorities are.

“I think it all depends on what their goal is. If their goal is to make it harder for migrants to get residence, if that’s the goal then there are several ways they can go about doing this,” she says.

“Or if the goal is to actually fill gaps in the labour market, they can say ‘yes, we know there are these shortages, we can’t get enough registered nurses, we can’t get enough doctors or engineers, let’s make it easier for them to get residence’.”

Fleming says Australia had been more strategic than New Zealand in assessing its skills needs and getting workers it needed into the country.


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News category: New Zealand.

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