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New Zealand introduces prompt updates to its employment visa program

New Zealand visa program undergoes changes (Via Shashank Patel/Getty Images)

New Zealand has made big changes to its employment visa program because of a huge increase in migration that officials say can’t continue.

Last year, almost 173,000 people moved to New Zealand, and officials worry it’s making prices go up and hurting local job markets.

The government is making it harder to get visas for jobs that don’t need special skills. They’ll check how well people speak English and set rules about how much skill and experience they need for most visas that companies sponsor.

People in these less-skilled jobs will only be allowed to stay for up to three years now, instead of five.

Erica Stanford, the Immigration Minister, said they want to bring in and keep people with special skills, like secondary school teachers, where there aren’t enough workers. They want to make sure New Zealanders get jobs first.

Government prioritizes skilled migrants (Via Nina Jade/Shutterstock)

These changes show New Zealand wants to control how many people move there, especially after the population grew quickly after COVID-19.

The government hopes these changes will help fill jobs where there aren’t enough workers without making it hard for locals to find work.

Other countries in the area, like Australia, are also making their immigration rules stricter because they’ve had more people moving there too.

Australia plans to cut in half how many people can move there over the next two years, like other countries in the region trying to deal with new economic and social problems.

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