The number of people in this country on work and student visas continues to decline.
According to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, which monitors the number of people in the country by visa type, there were 199,509 people on work visas in this country at the end of September.
That was down by 21,696 (-9.8%) compared to the March peak of 221,205, but still ahead of the 196,995 people that were in the country on work visas in September last year.
Work visa numbers usually follow regular seasonal trends, typically peaking in March, then declining slightly over April, May and June, before flattening out in July and starting to rise again in August.
The numbers have followed that trend again this year, except instead of picking up again in August they have continued to decline in both August and September.
The drop in the number of people in the country on work visas would have been greater except there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of people on work visas leaving the country, which declined from 13,362 in September last year to 4938 in September this year.
That has been partially offset by an increase in the number of people transferring from work visas to residency visas, which rose from 1413 in September last year to 2187 in September this year.
There were 13,296 people who had their work visas renewed in September, unchanged from September last year.
The number of overseas students in this country has declined at twice the pace of those on work visas.
Overseas student numbers typically peak in February and remain more or less stable until October, then fall away strongly over November and December before jumping back up again in January and February.
However this year the numbers peaked as usual in February but have declined in every month since.
At the end of September there were 67,863 people in this country on student visas, down by 15,018 (-18%) compared to the February peak and down by 15,933 (-19%) compared to September last year.
In September, 6192 people who were already in the country had their student visas renewed, 1398 transferred from student visas to work visas and 1023 people on student visas left the country.
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