Migrants on work visas stranded overseas cannot expect to return to New Zealand any time soon, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees Galloway.

And even then, their continued employment in New Zealand and/or extensions of work visas their would depend on gaps in the local job market and workforce needs.

In an interview with Radio Tarana, Lees Galloway said there's "a lot of work that needs to be done" as far as opening up borders for those stuck overseas on work visas was concerned.

"We will absolutely be applying the labour market test to temporary work visas," Lees Galloway said.

"And obviously that labour market test is going to demonstrate that there are fewer gaps, fewer roles for migrant workers."

Lees Galloway said he was aware of the difficult situation those on work visas stranded overseas were finding themselves in.

"People will be considering if their visa has expired while they're offshore.

"They will be considering applying for a new visa to come back to New Zealand when the border restrictions are lifted, but that will be entirely dependent on whether or not they're able to find work where the labour market test demonstrates that there isn't a New Zealander available to take up that work.

"As much as we want to provide the support that we can, for some people the simple fact that there won't be a gap in the labour market, so there won't be a visa available for them in the future," Lees Galloway said.

Lees Galloway's advice for those migrants stuck overseas was to engage with their consulate or embassy if they needed to sort their affairs out back in New Zealand.

He said because of border closures in place, there was no way the government could help those wanting to come back to New Zealand even if it was just to sort their affairs out, pack their belongings so they could return to their home country.

"The closure of the border is absolutely central to our successful effort to suppressing the virus in New Zealand," Lees Galloway said.

"Whilst there are people coming into the country, we now have strict quarantine requirements and we can only quarantine about 250 people a day coming across the border so the capacity for us to allow people to come into New Zealand right now is significantly constrained."

Finance Minister Grant today announced a $570 million support package for those who had lost their job because of Covid-19, but it is still not clear whether the Covid Income Relief Payment includes support for migrant workers.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has been approached for comment.

(Source; Stuff, Arvind Kumar and Vandhna Bhan)


21/07/20 - Update BMB

The Approval rates for BUSINESS applications for the period 1 July 2019 to 31 January 2020 are as follow;

  • EWV Interim – 15% Approval rate
  • EWV Balance – 79% Approval rate
  • EWV Renewal – 57% Approval rate
  • EWV Reconsideration – 20% Approval Rate
  • Entrepreneur Residence – 59% Approval Rate

21/11/19 - Policy update, the NEW way

For more information, please click here

IPT Decisions

The quality of decisions from INZ appear to decrease! Please refer to the Annual Report from the IPT for 2017 where on average 33% of Appeals with the IPT is allowed! A news paper article in 1 NEWS NOW dated 21/02/2019 confirms that four out of every ten appeals against INZ are upheld! That is an increase from 33% to now 40% of appeals being allowed or upheld against INZ!

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