Thursday, 30 September 2021 09:30

On-farm migrant workers set to gain certainty through one-off residency pathway

Written by  Staff Reporters
Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O'Connor says that while the new residency pathway is good for the industry, they need to focus on other long-term solutions. Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O'Connor says that while the new residency pathway is good for the industry, they need to focus on other long-term solutions.

An estimated 9,000 migrants working in New Zealand’s primary industries and their families could benefit from the Government’s new one-off, simplified pathway tor residency, says Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor.

“This is a great step that will provide certainty for hard-working migrants, their families, their employers and our rural communities,” O’Connor says.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi today announced the new 2021 Resident Visa, an arrangement that could see up to 165,000 migrants granted residence.

According to details released on Immigration New Zealand’s website, to be eligible you must:

  • Have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and
  • Be on a eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.

You must also meet one or more of the following three criteria:

  • Have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, or
  • Earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour), or
  • Work in a role on a scarce list.

Eligible visas include the Essential Skills Work Visa, the Religious Worker Work Visa, the Post Study Work Visa and the Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Work Visa.

Visa holders an also include their partners and dependents in their application.

Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa will be open in two phases; on 1 December 2021, and 1 March 2022.

O’Connor says that while the announcement will help to relieve workforce pressure, he believes the primary industries still needs to stay focused on long-term strategies for developing people.

“Immigration is one way to source people, but we also need to keep up the good work that’s been done over the past 12 months or so to attract Kiwis into life on the land or supply chains, and of course retain them,” he says.

“Wherever you go in modern economies around the world, the most valued resource is people and it’s no different for our primary sector.

“Across our primary industries we are experiencing very good growth in export revenues and having great people will be key to our trade-led recovery from Covid-19,” O’Connor says.

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