Migration experts believe that by the end of 2022 New Zealand will have a record number of new residents than they have seen in the past intakes.
In 2021, Jacinda Ardern’s government had a ‘planning range’ for new residents. This included overseas-born spouses of New Zealanders and humanitarian categories resulting in an annual target of 30,000 to 40,000. At the present speed of migration, New Zealand case officers could take five years to approve 200,000 residency applications.
According to NewsHub, the latest immigration figures from New Zealand show that the country has in fact created more residents in the last six months.
Till now, New Zealand immigration had received 97,179 applications that included 194,632 people. Immigration has approved 21,364 applications thus granting residence visas to 48,327 people.
Ardern has further pledged that 80 per cent of applications will be decided within 12 months. The government announced that the border would reopen fully and visa processing for overseas applicants would restart on the last day of July.
However, national immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford told NewsHub that Immigration New Zealand’s present processing rate meant it would not hit the target until October 2023.
In terms of applicants, the top four migrants are from India (69,594), the Philippines (47,304), China (35,451), and South Africa (31,248). In terms of application rejection, Chinese applicants with a 3.9 per cent decline rate are less likely to be approved compared to only a 2 per cent decline rate for Indians and South Africans.
Applications for fast-track residency visas are due to close in July 2022.
In September, the New Zealand government is also planning to start a new fast-track residence programme for skilled professionals such as engineers, doctors, and scientists in addition to the Accredited Employer Work Visa that was recently opened. The reopened processing centres would include a Green List/fast-track to residence for highly skilled workers.