The National Party is calling upon the government to sort immigration crisis and provide certainty relating to their residency.
“We can’t afford to lose any more skilled migrants because they have no certainty around when they can become a resident”, says National immigration spokesperson, Erica Stanford.
The residency policy announcement is being eagerly awaited by thousands of migrants who are in the country already, but do not know what’s in store for them in future. And pressure on the government has been mounting from various quarters due to uncertainty.
“National understands the Immigration Minister intends to make a long-overdue announcement this week about issues plaguing New Zealand’s immigration system after years of inaction and postponed promises,” she says.
Stanford emphasised the role played by skilled migrants and the country could not lose them.
“These people have played a pivotal role in getting New Zealand through the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Resolving the immigration crisis and offering a ‘Covid contribution’ pathway to residence is the right thing to for our migrants, the communities they live in, and the businesses that employ them.”
She expected the Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi to prioritise among other things, residence applications for critical healthcare workers, offer residence on arrival for specialist ICU healthcare workers, reopen the EOI pool and fast-track process for residence applications.
The National spokesperson criticised the government of being “big on announcements” and “creating queues” only.
“This Government has a track record of being big on announcements but disastrous on detail and delivery. The detail in this announcement will be crucial which is why it is so concerning that the Minister hasn’t bothered to consult with the sector over his plans to iron out any potential problems.
“Any announcement must have a clear indication of how the Minister intends to streamline the residency process and improve resourcing of the residency processing team. If there is one thing this Immigration Minister excels at, it is creating queues. The temptation here will be for him simply shift migrants out of one queue of misery to another even longer queue and claim he has solved the problem,” she adds.
Whether or not Kris Faafoi picks up part or all of National’s demands can only be speculated at this stage. Meanwhile, the uncertainty and misery of wait will continue to haunt skilled migrants.
NewsViews– your community focused news portal from Hamilton