National seizing immigration opportunities

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 29 September 2021 -

National seizing immigration opportunities


Opening up to the world doesn’t just give Kiwis the opportunity to come home, but it also gives New Zealand opportunities to attract talent from overseas, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“As other countries gradually recover from the effects of Covid-19, a global bidding war for talent has emerged. Almost every advanced economy other than New Zealand has begun deploying aggressive tactics to attract skilled workers. “Before New Zealand can do the same thing we must fix our broken immigration system. “We currently have huge delays in processing visas resulting in a years-long backlog of residency applications, and a frozen residency pool is leaving many of our critical workers stuck in immigration limbo. They can’t access KiwiSaver or buy a house, they’re fed up and choosing to leave. It’s clear we’re in a crisis. “Unlike the Government, National is planning for the future. Immigration will be critical to help resource our health system to deal with any future Covid-19 cases and help our economy bounce back from the effects of the pandemic.” To resource our health system National would:

  • Instruct immigration officials to urgently reopen the frozen Skilled Migrant Category visa expressions of interest pool and prioritise processing residence applications for critical healthcare workers

  • Offer residence class visas on arrival to specialist nurses with the qualifications, skills and experience to allow them to immediately start working in New Zealand

To help our economy bounce back National would:

  • Create a pathway to residence for those migrants who have stuck with us through the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Reopen the expressions of interest pool and process these applications with urgency

  • Create a fast-tracked, streamlined process for residence applications to quickly clear the backlog

  • Offer conditional residence on arrival for highly-sought skilled workers

  • Implement a traffic light model for people arriving from overseas