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Immigration Amendment Bill passed

2 July 2003 Media Statement

Immigration Amendment Bill passed


Legislation paving the way for the new Skilled Migrant Category was passed by Parliament this afternoon, Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said.

“The legislation allows for the global prioritisation of the backlog of applications in the General Skills Category. Some 20,000 applications are in the Skilled/Business stream backlog and many of those will be processed in the intervening period before the introduction of the new Skilled Migrant Category,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“Global prioritisation allows the New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) to prioritise applications that are accompanied by job offers that are relevant to the principal applicant’s qualifications or experience.

“In effect, this enables the transition to the Skilled Migrant Category to be managed in an effective way for the benefit of New Zealand. From today, transitional provisions will require a relevant job offer under the Interim General Skills Category.

“The legislation also provides for the lapsing of applications from those who applied before 20 November 2002 unless they claimed 28 points or had a relevant job offer or a Job Search Visa (JSV), or had been approved in principle.

“If we did not lapse them, we would be inviting thousands of people to come to New Zealand knowing full well that they were destined to fail. New Zealanders have had enough of seeing engineers, pharmacists, information technology specialists, and agricultural scientists driving our country’s taxis.

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“Even if people had come to New Zealand under a JSV there was no guarantee of finding the job they were looking for, which is why we have clarified in the law that temporary entry criteria do not form part of government residence policy.

“The legislation has been well-received by the vast majority of industry and business representatives as well as many immigration consultants who already operate on a settlement outcomes model with a recruitment focus.

“This will be good for business, good for migrants and good for New Zealand,” Lianne Dalziel said.

ENDS

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