Andrew Little promises more incentives for migrant workers

Ten-Year Multiple Entry Visas, Family Visas, Amnesty for overstayers

Venkat Raman
Auckland, October 11, 2023

New Zealand will become an attractive destination for migrants with a complete immigration reset if Labour is re-elected on October 14, 2023, Immigration Minister Andrew Little has promised.

He said that the next Labour government will revisit and change the immigration settings and put in place a better immigration system that serves the people and the economy.

“New Zealand will always need migrant workers to fill jobs. We need highly skilled and highly paid migrant workers in many sectors of the economy. We need specialists in the IT industry, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other professionals in the health sector. We want to look after them when migrants come to work and live here. We want to enable them to bring the members of their immediate family. They should see New Zealand as their home,” he said.

Ten-Year Visas for migrant families

Mr Little said that his government will introduce Ten-Year Multiple-Entry Visas for parents and grandparents of migrant workers.

The immigration system will be more people-friendly and welcome people from overseas.

“We must however achieve a proper balance and ensure that we not only take the people who we need but also look after them. We propose to provide a one-off opportunity to people who are in the country without a proper legal status for ten years or longer. The country’s immigration policy must underline our values and principles,” he said.

Mr Little said there has been significant movement of people since the borders reopened (following two years of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic).

“We have had a large influx of people coming into the country and a significant number of New Zealanders moving overseas. We have to get our balance right and manage such changes,” he said.

He had earlier that existing onshore Recovery Visa holders can now apply for a three-month extension in which to transition to longer-term work visas.

“The category is now closed to new applications. The Recovery Visa was an immediate response to the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle. Our focus is now on building a longer-term workforce to support the recovery ongoing recovery and be ready to respond to future extreme weather events,” Mr Little said.

Hamas condemned

As the Minister responsible for the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) and the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), he stood with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in condemning Hamas which bombed Israel two days ago.

“As the Prime Minister said, New Zealand condemns unequivocally the terror attacks led by Hamas on Israel. We are appalled by the targeting of civilians and the taking of hostages which violate fundamental international humanitarian law principles. New Zealand has designated the military wing of Hamas as a terrorist organisation, and we recognise Israel’s right to defend itself.”

“We are very concerned that the situation will escalate in the coming days and New Zealand again calls for restraint, the protection of non-combatants, and the upholding of international humanitarian law by all parties,” he said.

The government has advised New Zealanders in Israel to remain security conscious; monitor local media and stay informed of developments. They have also been asked to register on SafeTravel and contact the New Zealand 24/7 Consular Emergency Line on +64 99-202020.

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