New Zealand’s net migration loss is no surprise. This is not only because of the record number of New Zealanders heading overseas, but also due to the frustrations being felt by skilled migrants wanting to come to New Zealand.
The Minister of Immigration sets an annual ‘Residence Programme’ for migrants to obtain residence in New Zealand known as the New Zealand Residence Programme. Immigration New Zealand, (Department of Labour), is responsible for meeting this programme. Since 2003/2004, this has been set at the range of 45-50,000 per annum.
Immigration New Zealand statistics show that in the 08/09 and 09/10 financial years Immigration New Zealand approved 46,000 migrants for New Zealand residence (near the bottom of the programme range). In the last year to 30 June 2011 this fell to less than 41,000, (well outside the range).
Most people expect Immigration New Zealand to lift their game; instead they have decided to play with the ‘Programme’.
Now instead of an annual programme of 45-50,000, they have amended it to a 3 year programme of between 135,000 and 150,000, beginning 01 July 2011 to 30 June 2014. This means it will be 3 years before they are held accountable. In the 4 months since 1 July Immigration New Zealand have approved approximately 13,000 New Zealand residents, on an annualised basis this would equate to 39,000 this year.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all play with our ‘Key Performance Indicator’s’ this way?
Secondly, skilled Migrants are left ‘waiting’ for what would seem to them an eternity before a decision is made on their application. Once a Skilled Migration application is lodged with Immigration New Zealand, they are advised that it will be 16 weeks, (4 months), before their application is sent to a case officer. They are then advised it will take an additional 9-12 months for their case officer to process it.
We consider it is time for Immigration New Zealand to improve their game for Skilled Migrants and not play a numbers game which won’t see them accountable until 2014.