The Evolution of New Zealand’s Immigration Policies: What’s New in 2023?

The Evolution of New Zealand's Immigration Policies: What's New in 2023?
New Zealand’s immigration policies have always been dynamic, reflecting the country’s changing needs and global trends. The year 2023 has seen several significant changes, aimed at making the immigration process more streamlined and efficient. This blog post will delve into these changes and their implications for prospective immigrants.

Streamlining Visa Transfers and Expressions of Interest

In an effort to simplify the immigration process, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) launched two new online forms on 30th May 2023. These forms are designed to facilitate the transfer of a visa to a new passport and to express interest in applying for the Parent Resident Visa.

Key Points:

  • The new online forms are designed to make the process of transferring a visa to a new passport easier.
  • The forms also simplify the process of expressing interest in applying for the Parent Resident Visa.

Changes to the Refugee Drivers Licence Programme

Since 2015, INZ has funded a national refugee driver training service. This service assists refugees who have completed their learner licence to gain a restricted driver’s licence. The aim is to enable refugees to gain employment and support their families and community. In 2023, there have been changes to this programme, further enhancing its effectiveness.

Key Points:

  • The Refugee Drivers Licence Programme assists refugees in gaining a restricted driver’s licence.
  • The changes to the programme aim to improve its effectiveness and help refugees better integrate into the community.

New Work Conditions for Partners of Workers

From 31st May 2023, partners of Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV) holders who apply for a new Partner of a Worker Work Visa may have new work conditions in the visa. This change is expected to impact the work conditions of many visa holders.

Key Points:

  • New work conditions have been introduced for partners of AEWV and ESWV holders.
  • These changes apply to those applying for a new Partner of a Worker Work Visa.

Review into Out of Hours Immigration Compliance Visits

In May 2023, INZ conducted a review into out of hours immigration compliance visits. This review was driven by an understanding of the impact that the historic Dawn Raids had on Pacific peoples and the ongoing trauma within the community.

Key Points:

  • A review into out of hours immigration compliance visits was conducted.
  • The review was driven by the historical impact of the Dawn Raids on Pacific peoples.

VAC Service Fee Increase

On 3rd May 2023, the service fee paid to some Visa Application Centres (VACs) was changed. This change is expected to impact the cost of visa applications for many prospective immigrants.

Key Points:

  • The service fee for some VACs has increased.
  • This change impacts the cost of visa applications.

Finalisation of the Transport Sector Agreement and Green List Changes

In April 2023, the Minister of Immigration and Transport finalised the transport sector agreement and added occupations to the Green List. This change is expected to have significant implications for the transport sector and those seeking employment within it.

Key Points:

  • The transport sector agreement was finalised.
  • New occupations were added to the Green List.
In conclusion, 2023 has been a year of significant changes for New Zealand’s immigration policies. These changes reflect the country’s ongoing commitment to creating an efficient, fair, and responsive immigration system. As the year progresses, it will be interesting to see how these changes impact the experiences of immigrants in New Zealand.

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