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NEWS

A variety of immigration, business and general news articles taken from New Zealand newspapers, websites and other sources (sources are mentioned at the bottom of each article) and selected by Terra Nova Consultancy Ltd. It may assist the reader being more or less up-to-date what is happening in Aotearoa, "the Land of the Long White Cloud". Happy reading, enjoy ... and if you have any questions on these updates - please contact us...

Newest article always on top.

Jul
30

30/07/2021 - Come on NZ Government ...

Come on NZ Government, do something, respect the most basic need of the migrant communities, as this current situation is just untenable. This none reactive Government not willing to listen to migrant families, employers and migrant employees, has and continues to create an increasing gap between NZ and the developed world, on an economic and humane front.

From where I stand, it should be easy to solve this current situation, as follow;

Read more: 30/07/2021 - Come on NZ Government...

Jul
27

24/07/2021 - Migrants filling labour shortage run out of patience with Government

Migrant workers filling skill shortages, such as teachers, nurses, doctors and engineers, are running out of patience with the Government's lack of a clear pathway forward for them. 

More than 10,000 people waiting for skilled migrant visas to be approved

The Government stopped process applications amid Covid, but now many migrants are running out of patience. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's border remains closed to all except residents and citizens and there's a pause on the pathway to residency for skilled migrants, with a processing time of around two years across a number of residency categories.

Read more: 24/07/2021 - Migrants filling labour shortage run out of patience with Government

Jul
26

26/07/2021 - Update - Closing dates various categories

Essential skills will remain open until mid-2022.

Talent - Employer Accreditation closed to applications on 30 June 2021.

Further policies are due to close to applications on 31 October 2021, including the Talent (Accredited Employer) work visa and the Long Term Skill Shortage work visa.  No decision has been made to change the date these visas will close.

I will keep you updated here if things change.

Jul
21

20/07/2021 - More than 1000 registered doctors and nurses waiting in New Zealand residency queue

GPs are urging the Government to urgently re-open residency for healthcare workers to avoid losing them overseas. 

There are more than 1000 registered doctors and nurses stuck in the frozen immigration queue - and Newshub has spoken to one doctor who's giving up and leaving. 

Nina Fransham's first New Zealand holiday was a Kiwi classic - travelling in a campervan, she saw how beautiful the country was and knew it would be great for children. 

She moved from the UK to Northland in December 2019. Loving it so much, she encouraged other foreign doctors to move to Northland - but her love has limits.

"Our lives just feel incredibly temporary and that's incredibly frustrating," she told Newshub. 

Fransham is stuck in the frozen residency queue for skilled migrants - unable to access KiwiSaver, healthcare or buy a house. So next week, she's reluctantly moving back to the UK. 

"No one in their sane mind would fly all the way back to the UK in the middle of a world pandemic working in the NHS."

But she's far from alone.

When COVID-19 hit last year and the borders were slammed shut, Immigration New Zealand also shut down residency applications, leaving 10,000 skilled migrants in the queue.

Immigration New Zealand figures show among them are 901 registered nurses and 235 doctors - like Fransham. They're healthcare workers New Zealand desperately needs, already in the country, working in our health system, just waiting on the Government. 

"GPs leaving the country just worsens an already difficult situation for a lot of practices," says NZ College of General Practitioners medical director Bryan Betty.

National's immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says the situation is simply illogical.

"We've already got medical professionals here that are being treated so badly in a residents' queue that's going nowhere and they're looking to leave. And guess what we'll have to do? Replace them with more migrant doctors and nurses."

Newshub asked Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi for an interview but he declined, only saying he was working on the issue. 

After pressure, earlier this year he created a border exemption to bring in more healthcare workers.

But he's now starting to lose the ones that are already here, with jobs, because of this unnecessary immigration rigmarole.

Source: Newshub, Amelia Wade

COMMENT TNC: Some of my clients, registered nurses, have thrown in the towel, and guess ... they have gone to Australia! Some of my clients have lost it all, and have now decided to start all over again in Canada as it is a quicker, easier and with a much higher reward with lower living expenses. Hand over fist we are loosing skills, experience, knowledge and valuable business/family links AND our reputation as a compasionate country where all is possible! Wake up NZ Government, wake up!!

Jul
17

17/07/2021 - Government immigration reset blows up in its face

OPINION: It is easy to pull the rug out from under thousands of migrant workers, but nobody ever tells you the carpet might just bounce back and hit you in the face.

The country is now overwhelmed by a wave of economic capacity issues most of which are linked in some way to severely reduced migration and border flows.

Which is why, after scrambling to let migrants know they are not welcome the Government is frantically moving in the opposite direction.

If you were a migrant and feeling angry about how things have gone since lockdown you might take a strange sort of comfort in the way inflation has spiked, job vacancy advertisements have soared, job re-training budgets have proven woefully inadequate to the task of retraining people, and employers have been unable to fill vacancies.

New Zealand Initiative chief economist Eric Crampton has long been a critic of the Government’s policies on immigration and understands why it did not move quicker to extend visas for a longer period of time in March, when everyone was predicting a 1930s-style economic depression.

The somewhat self-defeating part is how the Government did not change tack in August when it became clear the economy was roaring back.

“The Government at that point should have re-assessed and should have given everyone who was here legally in March a much longer-term visa,” he says.

“Another option that we could have been considering ... was just granting residency to everybody that we had done poorly by.”

Crampton says short-term visa extensions for migrants left them scrambling with no idea of what they might be allowed to do long-term.

Which made it harder for them to find jobs because employers were reluctant to take on people who, on paper, might have to leave the country in six months.

On Friday the Government reset its immigration reset from less than eight weeks prior. Although it insists the original reset is still happening (by that it means the second mention of the word ‘reset’ in this paragraph, in case you lost track).

Instead of booting low wage migrants out of the country, or trading them in for a wealthier “high value” breed, workers earning below median wage will now be eligible for two-year working visas.

These visas will still be linked to a single employer and the move will probably postpone uptake of the Government’s accredited employer work visa scheme too. Not a bad thing since some employers seem to think the new accreditation scheme will give them even more power over their migrant “meat”.

The Government tightened the screws on these workers last year when it started renewing their visas in short six- month increments at a time when they were at their most powerless.

What were they going to do? Back then no vaccine had been approved in the United States and flights were few and far between. Even if you caught one, any place worth flying to was probably still in lockdown. The only rational decision was to suck it up, live with the uncertainty, and await a new press release from the immigration minister (first Iain Lees-Galloway then Kris Faafoi) every few months.

It was a last-minute pattern repeated right across a host of visa types including for working holiday visa holders, and it was even worse for people with real aspirations to live here long-term.

The irony is the country seems to have gained nothing from having treated all these different types of migrant workers so badly.
Migrant Workers Association president Anu Kaloti says many migrant workers simply left for other countries as opportunities overseas came up.

“All the people who live in this land must be looked after equally well. So to pit migrants and New Zealanders against each other has been totally the wrong stance.”

The essential skills work visa numbers quoted in the Government’s press release hardly seem likely to topple the entire country into low wage subjugation, and it makes you wonder what the fuss was about.

This decision that many have been calling for will benefit just 18,000 work visa holders while a streamlined process attached to it will help 57,000.

So how about we flip this whole equation around. Rather than looking at this as a way to scare migrants with little to no benefit how about we think of it as an opportunity to sort these problems out with little cost to the economy.

Managed isolation statistics reveal we have been filling up fewer than 250 rooms a day in recent times, which puts us right back to where we were at the beginning of the pandemic in terms of economic constraints.

With such low numbers of people coming through the border it is debatable whether we still need a labour market test for migrant workers preventing them readily filling up workforce gaps.

The labour market test was meant for a time when globalisation was unconstrained and employers could more easily tap into migrant workers overseas. It is a headache to administer, which makes it a dubious priority with Immigration New Zealand’s resources so obviously stretched.

Then there are changes we could make for more permanent migrants. The Cabinet ramping up the planning range for residency applications would be a good start as would doing something with people who have put in expressions of interest for residency.

This would prevent us having to bring more workers through the border to plug the gap.

More importantly we could use this as an opportunity to tackle a major element in the immigration mess we have been reluctant to address.

The root cause of exploitation: visas attached to a single employer.

As Crampton says: “The best protection that workers can ever have in the first instance isn’t the whole set of labour market legislation that still has a lot of process costs on either side of it.”

“It’s having recourse to lots of potential employers who might prefer to bid you away from your current job.”

Source: Stuff, Dileepa Fonseka

COMMENT TNC: The question we should ask, is this something that would help the migrants, are their worries over, is all OK now? Definitely not! What about the large number of families still separated, what about the enormous backlog in EOI's, what about the endless delays in residence applications? Migrants are people we as a country have and will attract for a variety of reasons such as experience and skills while building NZ's human capital. They are not merely numbers as that appears to be the approach from this Government.

Jul
16

16/07/2021 - Thousands of foreign workers allowed to stay in NZ as essential skills visas extended

At least 18,000 visa holders are set to benefit following the Government's decision to extend the duration of some essential skills visas and streamline the application process amid ongoing border closures.

The maximum duration of essential skills visas for jobs paid below the median wage will temporarily increase from 12 months to 24 from Monday. The maximum duration of essential skills visas for jobs paid above the median wage remains at three years.

Read more: 16/07/2021 - Thousands of foreign workers allowed to stay in NZ as essential skills visas...

Jul
16

16/07/2021 - Breaking News - Excellent changes!!

Essential skills work visa changes

From 19 July, Essential Skills Visa holders will be able to apply for a longer visa to remain in their current role.

The Government has decided to extend the maximum duration of an Essential Skills Visa for a job paid below the median wage from 12 to 24 months.

The duration of Essential Skills visas for roles paid the median wage or above will still be up to three years 

Application process simplified

From 19 July 2021 until 28 August 2021, applicants need to apply using a paper-based form on the INZ website. From 30 August 2021 applicants will be able to apply online instead.

Employers who are retaining migrant workers in the same roles will not have to prove there are no New Zealanders available. Employers will still need to undergo a labour market test for vacant roles or where your worker will change the region they work for you in.

Applicants remaining in the same role will not need to include an employment agreement with their new Essential Skills visa application.

Applicants will not be required to provide medical and police certificates, if these were previously supplied with a visa application.

These measures will make it easier for employers to retain their current migrant workforce.

These changes to requirements will apply up to the middle of next year. An update will be provided as soon as an exact date is confirmed.

Fees unchanged

The fee for the new visa will remain $440, plus the Immigration Levy of $55.

Accredited Employer Work Visa temporarily deferred

The introduction of the AEWV, previously scheduled for 1 November 2021, will be temporarily deferred to the middle of next year.
INZ will keep stakeholders updated on the progress of the AEWV.

Updated Skills Match Report

Ahead of the introduction of the Accredited Employer Work Visa system, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is changing its process for testing our labour market to more effectively prioritise New Zealand jobseekers.

The updated Skills Match Report is available from 19 July 2021.

Updating the Skills Match Report ahead of the wider reforms next year will allow employers time to adapt to the new format.

Source: INZ

Jul
14

07/07/2021 - Breaking News - INZ will issue refunds for 50,000 visa applications

On July 7th Immigration New Zealand announces that it will be refunding over 50,000 visa applicants for visas that have not been able to be processed because of Covid restrictions.

INZ will refund application fees and levies for applications being lapsed. INZ will also refund and return temporary visa applications received from people outside New Zealand after 10 August 2020, when offshore applications were suspended.

Read more: 07/07/2021 - Breaking News - INZ will issue refunds for 50,000 visa applications

Jul
10

22/06/2021 ‘On the edge’: Are New Zealand’s tough immigration rules harming the economy?

Critics say failing to allow family members to join skilled workers will undermine post-pandemic recovery

In February 2020, Craig Hurn, 53, temporarily left his wife and daughter in Cape Town to scope out the job market in New Zealand. After beating six other candidates for one job, he secured an essential skills visa and began preparing to move his family over.

“We saw Craig’s CV and we thought, ‘Oh my God, he can walk into the job,’” says his employer, who struggled to find any workers with the highly specialised qualifications to fill the position.

Read more: 22/06/2021 ‘On the edge’: Are New Zealand’s tough immigration rules harming the economy?

Jul
07

07/07/2021 - Government lets just 15 family members of highly skilled migrants enter New Zealand, despite exemption to reunite them

Watch: The Government promised to reunite some broken families.

The Government has blocked the overwhelming majority of highly skilled migrant workers from bringing their families to New Zealand.

Despite creating a special exemption designed to reunite them, just 15 family members have been approved.

Read more: 07/07/2021 - Government lets just 15 family members of highly skilled migrants enter New Zealand,...

Jul
07

05/07/2021 - NZ border exemptions: Visas approved for 14 wealthy investors

Immigration New Zealand has so far approved visas for 14 wealthy investors under two new border exemptions opened in May.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment expects 220 wealthy individuals will arrive over the next year, bringing hundreds of millions in direct investment, job creation and skills.

Immigration New Zealand said only one investor had so far arrived in the country but this was expected because the exemptions were relatively new.

Read more: 05/07/2021 - NZ border exemptions: Visas approved for 14 wealthy investors

Covid 19 Notice

As the impact of the coronavirus continues to evolve, we face this unprecedented situation together. The pandemic is affecting all of us. At Terra Nova Consultancy Ltd we wish to reach out and update you on how we are addressing it. Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees, clients, and our communities. Our focus on customer service remains at the center of everything we do, and we are fully committed to continue to serve you with our services, and striving to provide our services without interruption.Please listen and act upon the advise given by the Government, only in that way will we together be able to combat this challenge. And as always, stay healthy and keep safe.

TNC E-books

The Terra Nova e-book page contains publications in e-book and e-news format containing comments and reviews from Terra Nova Consultancy Ltd, and other contributors, that relate to a number of issues from immigration to operating a business.

Some of the Terra Nova e-books e-book and the Terra Nova e-news issues we believe may be quite helpful for prospective immigrants.

Check back regularly to find new editions of our Terra Nova e-book and Terra Nova e-news range.

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