Saturday, December 4

Reform of New Zealand’s immigration administration must be a priority – Seymour

Law enforcement leader David Seymour says the government should ditch its immigration reset after it announced a record number of residency visas.

Approved visa and passport stamped on top view of a document in Immigration

Immigration New Zealand needs to improve the way it conducts administration, says David Seymour.
Photo: 123RF

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi revealed this week that 165,000 migrant workers and their families would become residents next year.

He admitted that many of them generally would have had “little or no prospect of residency” and was asked how that squared with the immigration ‘reset’, announced with much fanfare four months ago as a policy to reduce the number of people little. qualified. workers.

But Faafoi said the review of the policy continued, though instead he described it as a “rebalancing.”

“In the broadest sense of the policies, we have outlined what we wanted to do in that rebalancing work. We are also reviewing the scenarios around the category of skilled migrants in terms of points and also other scenarios,” he said.

“This [announcement] It gives us a lot of room to breathe to be able to do that work and to have conversations with a large number of sectors that have relied on these avenues of residence in the past, to have those discussions about what we would like to do with the rebalancing. “

The number of business sectors requesting residency options for workers eventually led to the need for greater resolution of temporary visa holders’ situations in the meantime, he added.

But Seymour said the government needed to focus on fixing New Zealand immigration, not politics.

“Nobody even knows what the reestablishment of immigration was supposed to be,” he said. “They said it was a once in a generation opportunity, to do what exactly? We already believe that highly skilled and wealthy people are good immigrants, it’s not a reboot to say that, it sounds like a change and it definitely doesn’t sound once. in a generation.

“I don’t think this reboot was a real thing, but what I do know is that people lack certainty and we’ve said they should do three things.

“Number one: get rid of the reboot, if there is going to be a big policy debate, let’s do it outside of a crisis period. Number two, find a way for people to get across the border, which seems to be underway – Act, National and Labor is largely in agreement that that is going to happen, it is a question of when and how and finally we need to seriously reform the administrative capacity of Immigration New Zealand.

“I simply refuse to believe that an administrative task that basically consists of comparing information on different forms with a set of standards and rules cannot be sped up and fixed.

“If it were true, the banking system wouldn’t work, the insurance system wouldn’t work. Can you imagine ASB saying that we can’t do any mortgages for the next six months?”

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David Seymour, left, and Kris Faafoi disagree on the need for the country to have an immigration “rebalancing” policy.

Guarantees given along the timeline – Lose

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) processes 33,000 residency visas a year at the moment, which means that next year’s figure will multiply by five. Faafoi said he had asked INZ for guarantees on deadlines “ad nauseam” and had guarantees that the visas could be expedited since they were online, rather than paper applications.

“One of the things that I’ve been riding the hardest on is that if we make a commitment like this, people are not waiting for long periods of time,” he said. “Due to the breadth of the criteria, some of those checks will now be relatively simple.

“This one-time residency processing will be the processing priority for Immigration New Zealand. I have spent weeks reviewing and understanding what the process will be, moving the process from a paper-based platform to an online platform that has to be the way of the future. .

“I will meet regularly with Immigration New Zealand to make sure they can keep up.”

Immigration adviser Bing Han said there were celebrations for the government’s humane decision for the migrants, but the broader consequences of Thursday’s announcement should be considered, including labor market concerns that prompted the restart.

“Holders of residency visas under the new policy will surely be less qualified or trained compared to those under the existing policies,” he said. “Will they accept low-skilled jobs or positions from New Zealanders?”

Because temporary visa holders are unable to purchase property, there could also be a surge of migrants waiting to buy a home when they obtain residency.

“Is our residential housing market ready for the additional 165,000 new and sudden immigrants?” Han said.

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