08 September 2008

NZ's National Party plans for new NZ visas

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The New Zealand National Party has announced more changes to its proposed immigration policy, reports the New Zealand Herald. The new policy involves a retirement visa, a silver fern visa, and possibly a new stand-alone Immigration Department.

The National Party plans to introduce a retirement visa that allows wealthy overseas retirees to move to New Zealand, provided they can afford their own healthcare.  The National Party’s spokesman Lockwood Smith said the visa would attract more spending at no cost to the public health system. 

The Party also announced plans for a silver fern visa, which allows tertiary-educated migrants a buffer period to search for a job in New Zealand.  If they found permanent work in areas of a skills shortage, then migrants would be allowed to work in New Zealand on a New Zealand work permit for two years and then apply for fast-tracked permanent residency. 

The Party has also released plans to include a stand-alone Immigration Department to improve the processing of New Zealand visa applications.  However, the Public Service Association (PSA) said in a press release last Friday that setting up a new government department would be too costly.

“One thing we do know is that the staff at Immigration New Zealand have a huge workload,” said Brenda Pilott, National Secretary of PSA.  During the last financial year, the PSA processed 45,000 visa applications for New Zealand.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.

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