Around 9000 migrants working in New Zealand's primary industries and their families are set to benefit from a longawaited one-off simplified pathway to residency that could provide relief for rural communities suffering from chronic skilled labour shortages.
The 2021 Resident Visa has been introduced by the Department of Immigration and will be relevant to migrants currently working on farms and playing a crucial role in the farming industry.
"Across rural New Zealand, migrants are demonstrating their value to our economy Farming Migrants set to benefit from new Visa Regulations and particularly during these Covid times. We need to make sure we show how we value these people and in doing so retain them," Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O'Connor says.
"Covid-19 has greatly disrupted the movement of people across borders. Our focus now is to move through this process as quickly and fairly as possible. This is a great step that will provide certainty for hard-working migrants, their families, their employers and our rural communities.”
Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi says the new visa scheme could see up to 165,000 migrants granted residence. Immigration New Zealand has published eligibility criteria that will be relevant to many migrants currently working on farms, and visa holders can include their partners and dependents in their application.
Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa will be open in two phases; on December 1, 2021 and March 1, 2022. This accompanies recent announcements for the commencement of quarantine free travel for RSE workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, which will greatly help growers
These articles were featured in Lifestyle & Rural Property Focus , Issue 4 2021