02 April 2009

Six New Zealand work permit holders have visa variation conditions cancelled

Six New Zealand work permit holders have been the centre of an immigration debate over the past few months because it is claimed their work permit conditions were unfairly granted with variations, allowing local workers to be made redundant.

The New Zealand work permit variations were made without the knowledge of the impending redundancies, and New Zealand Immigration has since cancelled the work permit conditions so that the immigration department is not contradicting its plans to protect jobs for New Zealanders. 

According to the NZ Herald, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said the cancelling of the variations should reassert confidence that the Government is working to prevent the displacement of New Zealand workers.

"I would like to think that this decision sends a strong message to all employers. At a time of growing unemployment, immigration and labour authorities must be vigilant in ensuring that temporary work permits are only issued to address genuine skills shortages," Dr Coleman said.

Dr Coleman said that while the skilled migration programme would remain open so that New Zealand could get the workers it needs to ease inherent skills shortages, employers would have to prove they had exhausted local resources for labour/skills before hiring a New Zealand work permit holder.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.

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