Qualified migrants go on fast track

New immigration family policies will help New Zealand attract and retain skilled migrants, and ensure that their family members can settle well and are self-sufficient.

We are making changes to give priority to migrants who can make a real contribution to New Zealand.

Overall we expect these changes will eventually save the taxpayer around $40 million a year.

There will be a new two-tier process for the parents of New Zealand citizens and residents who want to migrate to New Zealand.

Applications from parents who have higher income sponsors, or who bring a guaranteed income or funds, will be processed faster than other applications.

Parents whose English is poor will need to pre-purchase tuition, and the period during which sponsors are required to meet certain obligations for their parents’ support will extend from five to 10 years.

As a result of these policy changes, many skilled migrants who have residence here can sponsor their parents and will receive a quicker decision with less red tape.

The Sibling and Adult Child Category for new migrants closed on May 15, 2012 to reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it more difficult to get jobs and are more likely to end up on a benefit.

Research has shown that only 66% of people who gain residence as siblings and adult children had a job after 18 months, despite a job offer being required for residence.

The existing Parent category also closed on May 15.

The new two tier category will be available from late July.

Nathan Guy is Minister of Immigration.

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