Over 12,000 people from other countries can now apply to enter New Zealand for work over the next year due to temporary changes made in the country’s immigration rules. The move aims to close labour gaps, according to an immigration minister.
The immigration rules change hopes to attract talent from abroad and thus help businesses hit by the global manpower shortage, said Immigration Minister Michael Wood.
Prospective employees will be given an increased duration of their holiday visa when they work and may also be extended thereafter.
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This move will likely allow migrant workers coming into New Zealand to work for over 12 months or longer if they’re coming from countries such as Canada or the UK.Other changes include the loosening of wage rules for foreign workers in the care, construction, meat processing, seafood and tourism sectors.
The New Zealand workforce has currently experienced a record low unemployment rate at 3.3%, while wages have increased at a quickest rate in a span of 14 years.
Read more: New Zealand in Focus: How full employment affects low-income workers
The country had some of the world’s toughest pandemic rules in 2021, with restrictions that included extensive testing and numerous public health mandates.
Because of high cases of the Delta variant, New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, was put on lockdown for 107 days, from August to December last year.
After more than two years of lockdowns, New Zealand fully opened its borders to international travellers back in July and lifted other travel restrictions.