Critical healthcare workers still in residency limbo

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 20 March 2022 -



Critical healthcare workers still in residency limbo


Doctors and nurses are leaving New Zealand because they still cannot get residency, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“At a time when we should be bending over backwards to keep doctors and nurses in New Zealand, we have an Immigration Minister who leaves critical healthcare workers in residency limbo for years, causing them to give up and leave.

“Since March 2020, the essential skills residency pathway has been closed and Minister Faafoi has refused to give a reopen date. In the meantime, critical healthcare workers like doctors and nurses are being lured offshore to countries like Australia who offer residency certainty.

“The 2021 Resident Visa announced last year gives residence to migrants who meet certain criteria, including being on a specified list of work visas. Yet hundreds of critical healthcare workers are not eligible for it.

“While Health Minister Andrew Little tries to attract more doctors and nurses, Minister Faafoi is holding the exit door open and waving healthcare workers goodbye because he refuses to make it easy for them to apply for residency.

“It is quite likely that we are losing more healthcare workers than we are gaining because of a Minister who cannot do his job.

“National urgently calls on Minister Faafoi to change the 2021 Resident Visa criteria to include all healthcare workers, irrespective of their current visa type.

“This one small change will give all the doctors and nurses that New Zealand so desperately need certainty about their future here.”