In this blog series, we round up the Immigration News highlights every month – so you can stay across what’s going on and find out what happened in the previous month.
UPDATES FROM INZ
Shearers now on the list of approved workers
Beginning November 2020, shearers will be amongst those who can gain Restricted Temporary Entry as border exceptions to COVID. This new class allows up to 60 workers. The conditions: Shearers must be contracted by or through an NZSCA approved employer and have at least two years’ shearing experience.
IN NEW ZEALAND NEWS
Border Restrictions will remain in place until it is safer, says Immigration Minister
Thousands of temporary visa holders, who were out of the country when the borders closed, are stranded overseas while continuing to pay rent and other expenses connected to their lives in New Zealand. However, in November Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said border restrictions preventing their return will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
“Part of New Zealand’s success in containing COVID has been the careful control of our borders and MIQ facilities. When it is clear that controls can be safely eased, the government will look to do so, but, as COVID continues to impact many countries, it considers it is necessary to maintain current settings.”
COVID-19: Government quietly extends visa exemptions for critical health workers
On November 19, the Government quietly extended COVID-19 visa exemptions for critical health workers. Health and disability workers are among the limited group of foreigners who can be granted visas to currently enter New Zealand. But up until Wednesday, their job had to start before December 30 to get a visa. Without an announcement, the Government’s extended that through to March 31, 2021.
COVID-19, politics, and burnout bringing more international doctors to NZ
As COVID-19 cases have risen overseas, so has the desire of doctors to come to New Zealand’s calmer, quieter shores. Medical recruitment agencies have seen a 100% increase in demand from people wanting to move to the country over the last 6 months, mostly from the US and UK – and 246 doctors were granted critical purpose visas between August and October.
More than 40,000 Americans visit NZ Immigration website during election week
It’s no secret that lots of Americans are looking into a move to NZ – but that interest spiked this month! Over the USA’s election week, 40,000 Americans visited a government website with information for people interested in moving here – over 50 times the normal amount.
‘Stressed’ vets desperate for help from 200 foreign workers
According to the Veterinary Association, the vet workforce is short of more than 200 workers. But the government says there are no plans to change the number of border exemptions made for vets, despite pleas from that vets are burning out and animal welfare is at stake.
Fields of courgettes wasted as growers can’t get workers
More stories of strife from farmers who are unable to get workers to handle the picking season. “The thing that’s hard to handle for me is the dishonesty from Government and the lack of effort. The Prime Minister said we were an essential business. They’ve made no effort to get workers into the country so we can carry on. They’ve got all the excuses, and nobody challenges them on it. All of us spring harvesters have been hung out to dry.”
Government and Red Cross spent $15m helping immigrants stranded in NZ
More reference to immigrant hardship during Covid-19. The government and Red Cross have spent more than $15m helping immigrants stranded in NZ after being made redundant or running out of savings. This article looks at where that money went.
It does, however, note that that during the first lockdown the government refused to use a special epidemic provision of the Social Security Act to give immigrants benefits, as it had asked Australia to do for New Zealanders in need.
ON THE NZIL BLOG
Opinion: Labour must follow through on their immigration promises
Commentary around what changes the Labour government will actually make to border and visa rules in 2021, now that they have no opposition from their old coalition. According to their manifesto, “Labour will open up our settings to get more people into the country; review immigration criteria to enable a broader range of workers to enter New Zealand; reduce barriers to access the parent category visa” and much more. NZIL Aaron Martin says it’s time to pony up!
Client Success Story: Defying the Odds
Case study of how NZIL lead lawyer Aaron Martin helped one client from America, a Silicon Valley businessman, join his extended family in New Zealand – despite the border closure AND in the most difficult category: humanitarian reasons, a category with just an 8.5% success rate since the COVID pandemic. See how he did it, and what the client’s experience was like.