NZ Census shows Immigration at new high

April 2, 2014

Immigration statistics show that as the Kiwi economy strengthens and Australian economy softens, New Zealand is starting to look a lot more tempting to Brits considering a move. In the year through March, NZ gained a net 31,900 migrants, a 10-year high. One of the most obvious drawcards for migrants to New Zealand is the Christchurch rebuild and immigration advisers in New Zealand say we haven't seen anything yet.

The rebuild is tipped to begin in earnest near the end of the next year, and will continue for years. New Zealand does not have enough skilled workers for the job and is drawing in foreigners to satisfy demand. British engineers and construction workers are being tempted to the city and the current list of skill shortages includes drainlayers, foremen, engineers, surveyors and project managers.

Getting approval to move to New Zealand can be a more straightforward process if you have an offer of skilled employment.

Sixty per cent of migrants arrive under the skilled migrant and business categories. A points system determines who qualifies, based on employment, qualifications, work experience, skills and age.

That's unusual by international standards, says Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, deputy vice-chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University. Just 35 per cent of migrants come to New Zealand by way of family reunification, compared with 60 per cent in the United States.

"New Zealand has a very explicit recruitment focus of bringing in skilled migrants to New Zealand,” he said.

However, it's still not common for skilled migrants to be able to find a job that actually fits those skills, he says, except for those who can work within the health system.

“Demand for residency is increasing from people who have migrated from around the world to Australia. Many have been studying there for several years but have found they cannot get permanent residency across the Tasman. New Zealand immigration laws are still fairly relaxed but Australia has tightened up chronically. So there's been a surge of interest from people who may be able to get residency in NZ, because they have the skills.”

China was the nation’s biggest source of net long-term arrivals, with 6200 people relocating to NZ in the year ended March, followed by 6100 Indian migrants and 5800 British arrivals. Most come to New Zealand wanting a better life for themselves and their children.

For an initial appraisal of your migration and job prospects in New Zealand, contact The Emigration Group today on 01244 321414 or come to one of our forthcoming seminars.

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