In 2024, New Zealand will face several key immigration issues, not least changes in government policy, public sentiment, and ongoing global trends.
The coalition government has outlined several priorities that will impact immigration settings, not least the coalition agreement to change the Accredited Employer Work Visa to focus the immigration system on attracting skilled workers.
It is based on concerns about the exploitation of immigrants, and a view that the scheme is leaving migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation, and that Immigration New Zealand is not adequately resourced to manage these issues.
In terms of policy changes, the Minister of Immigration, Erica Stanford, is expected to introduce significant changes to New Zealand’s immigration policies in 2024. These changes are likely to include increased government visa application fees and modifications to the Investor and Entrepreneur visa settings to attract foreign investment and talent.
Record-high immigration numbers in 2023 have filled jobs but strained the housing market.
To address this, the government is also considering changes to visa settings to encourage investment in New Zealand including increasing the cap on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, introducing renewable parent category visa, removing median wage requirements from Skilled Migrant Category visas, and easing rules for family members of visa holders to work in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s immigration landscape in 2024 is expected to be shaped by government policy changes aimed at attracting skilled workers and foreign investment, while mitigating public concerns about immigrant exploitation, the ongoing impact of high immigration numbers on the job and housing market.
Any one of these have a chance of leading the headlines.