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No Fees Bonanza Expected From New Immigration Rule

No Fees Bonanza Expected From New Immigration Rules

5 February 2004


The New Zealand Association for Migration & Investment (NZAMI) says it has received assurances from government that there will be no substantial windfall in migration fees, as a result of the new two-tier application process for skilled migrants.

Earlier today, the Association issued a statement saying that the new immigration rules, which came into force last month, were likely to result in $10 million per year in additional revenue. It called for this revenue stream to be used in marketing New Zealand as a migration destination to people with the skills required by our economy.

"We have now been telephoned by Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel, who has cast doubt on our projected figure," says the NZAMI's Chairman, Bill Milnes..

"The minister said it was misleading to calculate the funding likely to arise from the new procedures by referring simply to the numbers likely to seek residence in New Zealand on the basis of their work skills.

"She pointed out that only one person per immigrant family is required to pay the new "Expression of Interest" fee. Once this factor is taken into account, it is clear that there will be no windfall of the type we had forecast . We are grateful to the minister for clarifying matters," he says.

Mr Milnes adds that the absence of a fees bonanza in no way diminishes the urgent need for government to provide funding for marketing efforts, aimed at encouraging appropriately skilled people to migrate to New Zealand

He cites the Labour Department's report "Skills in the Labour Market - November 2003" as pointing to the highest level of skills shortage in 25 years, with both skilled and unskilled staff hard to recruit and many businesses facing constraints on expansion.

"Although the tight labour market may loosen with the anticipated economic slowdown, this is likely to be off-set, as far as higher-skilled employees are concerned, by a rise in migration from New Zealand. This has certainly been the pattern in the past and most notably in the late 1990s.

"The NZAMI certainly shares the minister's view that migration to New Zealand should be regulated to benefit our economy and that it is undesirable to have large numbers of immigrants who do not fit easily into our labour market. Even so, we are not going to attract the human resources our economy actually needs without a concerted effort to market New Zealand as a desirable destination," he adds.

The NZAMI represents approximately 150 members throughout New Zealand, including immigration and investment consultants, banks, business specialists and financial advisers. The Association seeks consistent, fair, reliable immigration policies of long-term benefit to New Zealand.


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