New Zealand Visas up as Arrivals Reach Record Levels for March

by Ray Clancy on April 24, 2015

New Zealand is proving increasingly popular with people from around the world, including students and expats with the latest statistics showing a rise in student visas, work visas and visitor visas.

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand reached a record high for the month of March, up 15% compared to a year ago and 8% more than 2013, the latest statistics show.

new zealand immigrationThey reached 291,800 and were boosted by the Cricket World Cup, and the earlier timing of Easter and overseas school holidays compared with 2014, according to New Zealand Statistics manager Vina Cullum.

The earlier holidays saw more arrivals from Australia which increased by 13,900 and the United Kingdom figures were up 3,800 compared with March 2014. The recent large monthly increases continued from China with growth of 7,700, while the Cricket World Cup contributed to an extra 1,700 coming from India.

The annual net gain of migrants was also a record high of 56,300 in the March 2015 year, well up from 31,900 in the March 2014 year, and 2,500 in the March 2013 year.

The data also shows that migrant arrivals were up 16% from the March 2014 year, while departures were down 13% while the net loss of 2,300 people to Australia in the March 2015 year was the smallest since 1992 year.

Overall the biggest net gains of migrants in the March 2015 year were from India at 12,100, China 7,700, the United Kingdom 4,900 and the Philippines 4,000. About three quarters of migrants from India, and half of migrants from China, arrived on student visas.

New Zealand resident travellers departed on 168,200 overseas trips in March 2015, up 14% t from March 2014. This was also influenced by the earlier timing of Easter and school holidays, and trips to watch New Zealand play in the Cricket World Cup final in Melbourne.

The biggest increases were to Australia, up 6,600, the United States up 3,100, China up 2,200, and India up 1,400. Almost half of the New Zealand residents travelling to China and India were citizens of those countries.

New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 5,000 migrants in March 2015, consistent with the average monthly net gain of 4,900 since August 2014.

Cullum pointed out that the apparent levelling of net migration since August comes after two years of increasing net gains, following net losses averaging 300 per month between March 2011 and August 2012.


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