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Silver Fern visa to target talented graduates

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Immigration

25 November 2009
Media Statement

Silver Fern visa to target talented graduates

The Government’s new Silver Fern visa will attract young highly skilled people to work long term in New Zealand, Minister of Immigration, Jonathan Coleman has announced today.

“The new Silver Fern policy enables young people with proven potential to come to New Zealand for up to nine months to seek skilled employment. Once they find skilled employment, they will be able to stay for a further two years, while they apply for residence. This will create a pathway to residence for young skilled people, who want to come to New Zealand to further develop their careers, and potentially to settle permanently.

“The National-led Government made a pre-election promise to attract higher-level skills to New Zealand and today’s policy announcement delivers on that promise,” says Dr Coleman.

“In the global competition for skills, we need to encourage young, career-minded people to choose New Zealand as a long term destination.

“Two permits will be available under this policy: a nine month ‘job search’ permit, and a two year work permit once skilled employment is secured. The policy is designed so that people who meet the requirements upfront will be likely candidates for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category.

There will be an initial limit of 300 places and the policy specifically targets people aged between 20 and 35 years old.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge that migration is a key economic enabler. It gives New Zealand businesses international connections, and provides skills to transform our economic landscape.

“However, it’s all about attracting the right skills and matching those skills with the employment needs of our economy. I am confident that the Silver Fern visa will achieve that, because the young migrants eligible under this policy will need to prove their value to New Zealand employers,” says Dr Coleman.

The Silver Fern policy will be implemented in April 2010.


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