Door opens to more migrants

Tuesday 6 July 2004

The Government is raising the cap on the number of new migrants allowed into the country and has instructed the Immigration Service to approve more applications as the labour and skills shortage continues to bite.

By The Landlord

Six months after the introduction of tough regulations that require migrants to demonstrate university-standard English and to lodge "expressions of interest" for residency, the number of migrants wanting to move to New Zealand has declined sharply.

Now the Government is set to lower the "pass mark" for migrants and will launch a marketing campaign aimed at skilled migrants who speak good English and who it considers will settle into the community.

National is calling the collapse in skilled migration in particular a disaster, saying it is a serious threat to New Zealand's economy.

Immigration Service figures show that total applications for residency fell from a peak of 4500 last July to 2699 in December, when the new policy was announced.

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