Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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ACT wants to replace temporary work visas with a fee to avoid bureaucracy

David Seymour

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Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

ACT Party leader David Seymour says it needs to be easier for businesses to access skilled workers.

The ACT Party wants to scrap temporary work visas and instead make employers pay a fee if they choose to hire someone from overseas.

It’s part of ACT’s immigration policy, which it says will bring talented people to New Zealand with “minimal rigmarole”.

The fee would initially be the same rate as the current Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme but would later be adjusted, depending on net migration trends and population growth.

“The advantage of a price system is that employers can assess whether it’s worth paying the fee or hiring locally, instead of the bureaucracy trying to decide which employers ‘deserve’ workers,” the policy document states.

ACT would alter the Skilled Migrant Category points system so all offers of employment or current employment would earn migrant points.

Once someone met a certain point threshold, their residency application would be prioritised.

ACT would also remove the 2500 cap on Parent Resident Visas but holders would not be eligible for free healthcare until they meet a 20-year requirement.

The party would ask the Auditor-General to investigate how Immigration New Zealand uses its resources and would benchmark the agency’s processes against commercial banks.

It would also ensure all major immigration policy decisions are subject to cost benefit analysis.

ACT leader David Seymour said it needed to be easier for businesses to access skilled workers.

“New Zealand’s labour market is far too small to build world-beating companies without easy access to offshore skills,” he said.

“The current set of rules and regulations are overly complex, perhaps due to being made without proper policy oversight, so immigration rules must be streamlined to enable employers to get the people and skills they need.”

Story Credit: rnz.co.nz

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