Work visa approvals up 9% on a year ago, residence visa approvals up 12.8% the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment says

Work visa approvals up 9% on a year ago, residence visa approvals up 12.8% the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment says

The Government approved 34,221 work, residence and student visas in October, up 10.4% compared to October last year.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)* show that 24,135 work visas were approved in October, up 9% compared to October last year.

Of those, 13,344 were renewals of existing work visas, while a further 870 work visas were approved for people who were previously on student visas.

The next biggest group was students, with 6411 student visas approved in October, up 14.8% compared to October last year.

Of those, 3570 were "first time" student visas, (up 21.1% on a year ago), with most of the rest being renewals of existing student visas.

Residence visas remained the smallest group, with 3675 residence visas approved in October, up 12.8% compared to October last year, with just over half (1854) of those issued to people who had previously been on work visas,.and 363 issued to people who had previously been on student visas.

According to MBIE, a total of 475,920 people were in this country on work, residence or student visas at the end of October, almost 10% of the total population and up 3.6% compared to the same time last year.

That included 202,917 people on work visas,187,164 on residence visas and 85,839 on student visas.

*Immigration NZ is part of MBIE.

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but house prices are the backbone of the economy?!?

then "Reverse!"

How? There have been no real policy changes in the last 3 years to reduce the flow of low-value migrants entering NZ through work and resident categories. Doesn't look like they're working on anything worthwhile either.
Even the announced work visa changes won't come into effect till mid 2020.
For international students, the policy changes last year might have actually pushed up numbers since post-study work visa length for level 8 and above students has been raised from 1 to 3 years.

There is an opportunity here...if immigration eligibility would be heavily reweighted to favour physical attractiveness ahead of academic acheivement, I think it would allow the long overdue replacement of the vacuous and baseless claim that is 100% Pure NZ with a far more legitimate strapline of....NZ 100%.....Drop dead gorgeous. Who's with me on that?

Crass idea but I would use it to explain how I achieved the point count 16 years ago.

Haha well at least you got here, I might add that a ten yearly follow up by officials would be part of the system, lose your looks and your on the next flight home!

There's a movie called Ali G (by Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Borat) where this is implemented in the UK.

I've never heard of that movie, I'm art house, Cohen never did it for me.


Where is our friend Winston Peter as was talking so much before the election and will talk again next year before the election.

Real Shame !

He's a phoney.


Anybody keen to kick in a few bucks to buy the Immigration department some red ink and "Application Declined" Stamps?

They are the one dept that has control of its income without govt approval - they set their own visa prices - and then claim to be under-staffed and employ less than 30 investigators despite proven widespread corruption, exploitation and rorts (identified 3 years ago by Prof Stringer Auck uni).

all three COL parties promised drastic reductions in immigration -- delivery on this - NIL

Recently approved - 20,000 extra fruit picking visas -- but changes in the income threshold mean many Mental Health Support workers - ( mostly overseas nurses) are excluded and being denied extensions -

So - this governments priorities are clear - unskilled migrants to pick fruit - ahead of Mental health nurses - a supposed priority !

Shambles or more like National Disgrace

The entire mental health industry is in a disarray due to both heavy restrictions on inward movement of healthcare professionals and improper working conditions and poor payscale for local workers to move into the sector.

The government really needs to do more if it is at all serious about its well-being agenda.

And it's going to cost. Robertson's is even more of a tight ass than ole Bill. Spend, man!

Try shambles AND National Disgrace!

Maybe because it is never discussed in parliament - only in this blog and at every coffee shop in Auckland.

Incidentally in the UK since 2010 Immigration has been ranked as UK voters top priority just ahead of the Economy. UK immigration rate currently roughly a third of NZ.

It is so sad to see an unnecessary problem bubbling up - NZ needs immigrants (the right ones); NZ is good with immigrants (less prejudice than most countries); INZ even has quotas just quotas that are never discussed publically and are more than double the OECD average. A well informed public debate in parliament would sort this out - OK not everyone would agree with whatever is decided but it would be open for discussion: fruit pickers or nurses, IT consultants or Bakers, traditional marriage without parents approval yes/no, etc.


The continuing high levels of immigration and approval of residency visas is a major concern.
There seems to be this acceptance by government - both this and the previous - to have criteria which allows these high levels of immigration.
One needs to dig to guess the benefits of the high immigration which are at best questionable, where as the negatives - such as increasing pressure on infrastructure and supply of housing and associated affordability issues especially in Auckland - are blatantly obvious.
I don't recall any political party advocating any benefits for what are historically high and sustained levels of immigration and its significant increase to population increase.

But, but, as long as these Favoured Ones vote CoL in next years' election, it will all be sweet......

Clearly Labour-Greens and their unlikely coalition partner do not see eye-to-eye on immigration, despite Labour adopting a tone similar to WP in their 2017 election campaigns.
I wonder what changes, if any, to our migration policy would Labour-Green bring about were they to secure enough votes to form a two-party coalition after the 2020 election.

I expect they'd get rid of all those nasty policies that discriminate against poor people, like income thresholds for PR and parental visas.

Parent visa income threshold: "Immigration Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway, had called for it be set at $76,000, one and a half times the median wage."

Golriz Ghahraman stated she would like all thresholds to be removed for the Parent Visa Category.

"The most recent immigration figures show a slight softening of net migration to 70,700, but Lees-Galloway says he will be pushing forward with all of Labour’s pre-election policies."

Meanwhile, our state media continues on its incessant pro mass immigration agenda.

Toni Alexander is now working for immigration...
Reporting this as Trump-like is real fake news.

I've been meaning to write a bot to measure the lead stories by type on RNZ's website. It's amazing how often they are pushing immigration stories.
Sometimes they are a useful, interesting media outlet. The rest of the time it feels like you are listening to a Green party political broadcast. Sigh ...

Our media's strong advocacy on success of migration is usually supplemented by cherry-picked cases of electrical engineers working with TransPower or entrepreneurs running 5 successful business outlets around the country; until the stories are about exploitation, in which case its always hard-working migrant workers filling in for lazy, drug addled Kiwis.

The virtue signalling in NZ media is making it harder for logical people to have proper conversations about this serious issue.

Yes. Stuff does actually run quite a few stories highlighting endemic levels of exploitation, but Labours response seems to be to make it easier for firms to hire migrant workers, with an employer led system. F-ing nuts.

"the Labour Inspectorate estimates a staggering 40 per cent of all such stores are breaking the law"
"Senior MBIE officials believe any sector of the economy that becomes dominated, or 'captured', by a single ethnic group becomes a risk because rogue operators will exploit their compatriots. And the Indian community does dominate the liquor store trade."
"Liquor is particularly appealing, says a liquor licensing source, because it's known among migrants as a quicker route to residency: manager's certificates are easy to obtain but attract a high number of 'points' towards securing residency."

Why isn't this a national scandal?

Scandal: an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage. It is a national scandal but the media, possibly rightly, is supressing the discussion because of fears of racial tensions. We all meet some great immigrants - people proud to be living in NZ - all I ask of MBIE is that all immigrants are proud to be Kiwis and none of them are exploited or exploiting. MBIE are naive - they need a few staff with real world experience.

So the pipedream policy underlying migration to NZ, at first a solution to our rapidly ageing workforce, will now allow a migrant couple to bring up to 4 retired parents to NZ.

Despite all the criticism of NZFirst, they are actually having a moderating influence on the coalition. Not enough for many, but you can't have it all. A Labour/Greens government alone would be a woke disaster.

How are they moderating? Immigration is still sky high

Yes. Pretty weak moderation I agree. In terms of the parental visa category, they are responsible for the $100k plus threshold and the cap of a 1000. Pretty hard not to feel they have been bought off with 3 billion dollars of trinkets though.

That second link describing descibing hitting quotas by bureaucratic delay is true. It applies to my son-in-law who has just received his residency visa after many of the same ludicous and expensive delays described in the article.

Maybe it is a weird plot to get votes for the only party that promises to reduce the current immigration quota but hasn't reneged on that promise in the past. TOP to get over 5%?

Interesting. But I don't think the COL clowns are that clever.

All the high quality ones are heading over to Aust for the high wages, we only get the crumps!

We really do get the crumps. That's my observation from having worked in Singapore and Australia

"In total, these changes are estimated to reduce net migration by 20,000-30,000. Without these changes there would be up to 10,000 more houses needed and up to 20,000 more vehicles on our roads annually. Our immigration system will be regularly reviewed to ensure it is functioning well."

Is it functioning well?

We have the privilege of having that clown Lees Galloway in charge. Never in the history of politics has there been a greater contrast between looks and competence

Meanwhile, Australia has actual research proving the damage that high immigration is doing to the Australian economy. Seeing as how NZ's immigration rate is even higher than Australia's, I'd expect the outcomes to be worse here. Shame we lack anybody to do any actual research here - perhaps we could import someone?

While both Australia and NZ are adding low-skilled migrants to their population at record high rates, attaining permanency in Australia is a lot harder due to high demand and fewer places.
Moreover, they have quotas across the ditch for different occupations, special fast track places for high-paid migrant workers (149k in Australia, not the NZ government's 52k threshold to qualify as high-paid).

An economic downturn would bite us a lot harder due to the tens of thousands of low-skilled permanent migrants to whom we provide full access to our social system each year.

The quality of our research here is poor

True, true, true. All it needs is matching Visa approval with IRD tax return - can be done anonymously and the averages calculated. Years ago they tried it on a sample of 600 and discovered the majority of immigrants earn under the average wage. All research seems to have stopped since then so they just republish foreign data (eg the immigrants that prop up Silicon valley IT firms).
Isn't it obvious: good (well paid) immigrants are good and bad (low paid) immigrants are bad?

WOW !!!!!!!!!!! are we saying that almost 10% of the entire current population in NZ are foreigners , here on some kind of visa ?

Are we trying to emulate Dubai ?

ITS ACTUALLY WORSE ............. if there are 475,000 visa's and 200,000 are work visa's and they wrok visa holder has his whole family over here , then the number could be way higher

Where are these 500,000 visa holders PLUS their families living ?

AND ................. if there is a serious recession and we send them all home ................. we may have between 50,000 and 100,000 houses empty .

Send them home on boats man.

And we have 300,000 renters receiving a supplement from the taxpayer to prop them up...

Is this not good,where I live most of the new houses are being built by those I assume are relatively recent immigrants. Immigrants who are prepared to work and pay taxes balance out the increasing numbers of pensioners. My descendants were immigrants,arrived in Nelson in 1842.

Increasing numbers of immigrants turn into increasing numbers of immigrant pensioners in a couple of decades. Who pays for them then?

I suspect most of the old folks that are on this site scream "STOP!" but actually want the opposite (because they own houses and want to see their values skyrocket). If this wasn't the case, we would be seeing mass protests due to all the "strong opinions" that immigration should slow down/stop.

I screamed "STOP!" but i don't actually want the opposite. I'm not old folk (early thirties) and I part own 1 house with the bank. I just don't to see mass immigration continue to deprive my peers and future generations of a fair chance at home ownership.

I agree with STOP. I am old. NZ's unplanned population growth along with my old house on a large section has made me a millionaire and I do enjoy the cheap quality services provided by immigrant baristas and checkout operators. So if it is good for me why do I rail against it? Simple answer I have 6 children and only one owns his own home and that is in France.


I understand the point you are making. However, I wonder just where the balance should be struck? It seems all too clear that NZ needs people from outside the country to do important work in the health and aged care services, in the horticultural and tourism sectors, simply because not enough Kiwis are prepared to do the work for the wages offered. We also need highly skilled professionals in many other areas, so again, what is the appropriate number?
Unfortunately, it seems impossible to have a proper discussion on this-naked politics takes over and everybody ends up in their bunkers lobbing insults at each other.

What good is increasing prices if you cant use the money for anything? You either have to increase your already hideously unaffordable mortgage to access your equity, or if you sell, then you still need to buy something else equally ridiculously priced to live in. The only people who will benefit from old people's high house prices are their descendants on their death.

Wonder if Winston Peter really believes in what he says.

Know about politicians but still a thought. If someone is raising an issue constantly over number of election, so if not 100% but even if take action by % would show his intention.

Just by giving media/ camera byte does not help. Need action.

Come next election and will not be in parliment as have done nothing about their main - most prominent promise of immigration so ne t election what will they shout about.

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