New Zealand announced on April 19, 2017 that it is introducing tougher requirements for skilled overseas workers as it tries to control immigration numbers that have reached an all-time high.
This comes after Australia scrapped a temporary visa for skilled overseas workers and after US President Donald Trump signed an order to help American workers whose jobs are threatened by skilled immigrants.
The New Zealand government was unapologetic that industries relying on overseas workers are finding it harder to recruit people from abroad.
The changes include new income thresholds. To qualify as skilled, immigrants will need to get a job in which they earn at least the median income.
To qualify as highly skilled, they will need to earn at least 150 per cent of the median income.
Other changes include a new three-year limit for workers with lower skills.
Changes would control the number and improve the quality of immigrants.
It is the second time New Zealand has tightened its immigration rules in the past six months and the latest changes come during an election year.
Many people have expressed alarm at the immigration rate.
Part of the turnaround can be attributed to the nation's healthy economy, which is growing at more than 3 percent a year and is attracting back some New Zealanders who had moved abroad.
The largest numbers of new migrants to New Zealand are coming from China, India and the United Kingdom.
The South Pacific nation's median annual wage is about 49,000 New Zealand dollars (U.S. $34,400).New Zealand: Know More
- Capital: Wellington
- Code: +64
- Currency: New Zealand dollar
- Prime minister: Bill English
- Population: 4.471 million (2013) World Bank