10 February 2009

Global recession not stopping NZ work permit applications

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According to Immigration New Zealand, the global financial meltdown is not stopping foreign workers looking to move to New Zealand.

Fiji Times reports that the New Zealand High Commission in Suva has confirmed the claim, saying that the number of people applying for a New Zealand work permit has remained at the same levels as last year.

The High Commission is even encouraging Fijian nationals living in New Zealand to ask for extensions to their current work permits, so that they may remain contributing to the New Zealand economy and sending remittances back home to family in Fiji.

"Fiji citizens currently on work permits in New Zealand can apply for new permits as can any citizen of any country who holds a work permit," a spokesperson said.

"Many work permits are subject to a labour market test - the employer must satisfy immigration there are no suitably qualified and experienced New Zealand citizen or permanent resident available to do the job.  If this test is met, a new permit can be issued.  Permits held under areas of skilled shortage are usually exempt from such tests."

Around 97,000 New Zealand work permits were issued during the second semester of last year to foreign workers, with 75,000 allocated for general work visas, and the rest allocated to the New Zealand working holiday visa scheme, the Recognised Seasonal Workers scheme, and group work visas.  In the Suva High Commission alone, the New Zealand Government receives 35,000 New Zealand visa applications annually.


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