New Zealand Tightens Visa

New Zealand Tightens Visa

 New Zealand Tightens Visa Rules Amidst High Migration Levels

New Zealand’s recent decision to tighten visa rules, particularly affecting the accredited employer worker visa (AEWV), will have implications for Sri Lankans intending to migrate to New Zealand. The move comes in response to what the government perceives as “unsustainable” levels of migration, which reached nearly 173,000 non-New Zealand citizens in the year to December 2023.

The changes announced by Immigration Minister Erica Stanford include the introduction of English-language requirements for low-skilled jobs and the implementation of a minimum skills and work experience threshold for most employer work visas. Additionally, the maximum continuous stay for most low-skilled roles will be reduced from five years to three years.


Immigration Minister Erica Stanford

These immediate changes aim to prioritize attracting and retaining highly skilled migrants to address specific workforce shortages, such as secondary teachers, while ensuring that New Zealanders are given preference for jobs where there are no skill shortages.

For Sri Lankans seeking migration opportunities in New Zealand, these alterations may pose challenges. The introduction of English-language requirements could act as a barrier for those who may not meet the language proficiency standards. Moreover, the reduction in the maximum stay period for low-skilled roles may limit the duration of employment opportunities for prospective migrants from Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, the government’s emphasis on reducing vulnerability to exploitation among migrants suggests a tightening of regulations within the labor market. This could imply stricter scrutiny and oversight, potentially impacting the ease of entry and employment conditions for migrant workers from Sri Lanka.

Green List

Additionally, the decision to scrap plans of adding certain roles to the Green List, which includes highly skilled positions experiencing shortages, may narrow the avenues for employment for migrants from Sri Lanka in specific sectors such as welding and fitting.

While neighboring Australia has also announced plans to reduce its migrant intake, New Zealand’s actions reflect a broader trend of countries reevaluating their immigration policies amidst concerns about the economic, social, and political implications of high migration levels.

In conclusion, the tightened visa rules in New Zealand signal a more selective approach to immigration, prioritizing skilled migrants and addressing concerns of exploitation while potentially posing challenges for Sri Lankans aspiring to migrate to New Zealand for employment opportunities.

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