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Immigration changes for regions into effect

Immigration changes for regions into effect

Hon Michael Woodhouse
Minister of Immigration
1 November 2015

New measures designed to improve the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand come into effect today.

“The changes, which were announced in July this year, will encourage skilled migrants and entrepreneurs to settle outside Auckland,” says Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.

“New Zealanders will always be first in line for jobs. But we recognise that for skilled roles that are hard to fill in certain regions we should be doing more to attract and retain high calibre migrants to help those regions grow.”

The changes include:

• Tripling the bonus points for Skilled Migrants applying for residence with a job offer outside Auckland from 10 to 30 points.

• Doubling the points for entrepreneurs planning to set up businesses in the regions under the Entrepreneur Work Visa from 20 to 40 points.

• Streamlining the labour market test to provide employers with more certainty, earlier in the visa application process.

“While there will be more incentives for skilled migrants to move to the regions, they will now need to stay there for a minimum of 12 months.

“Improving the regional focus of the Entrepreneur Work Visa will boost the number of migrants moving to the regions with business experience, capital investment and job creation credentials.

“Streamlining the labour market test, which has already been rolled out in Queenstown, allows employers to check directly with Work and Income before lodging a migrant visa application, providing more certainty for employers and migrants, as they will know sooner if a work visa application is likely to succeed.

“These changes will contribute to a better balance in our immigration settings and will allow regions to access more of the people, skills and investment they need to build the local growth needed to support jobs and higher incomes.”

ENDS

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