Getting a visa to move to New Zealand could get tougher for some groups such as temporary workers and foreign students with the new Government expected to get tougher in immigration.

According to immigration experts, the incoming coalition Government is expected to be more nationalist and want to see a change to the current open door policy on migration in New Zealand.



It is thought that changes could include residency no longer being linked to certain visas, meaning that those with temporary visas would not automatically get the right to live permanently in the country.

There are around 122,000 international students in New Zealand, some 40% more than in 2013 with the country having seen a steep rise in students from both China and India. Meanwhile immigration has soared, reaching an annual record of 72,400 recorded in the 12 months to July 2017.

But Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern and her coalition partner Winston Peters are said to see eye to eye on reducing immigration with Ardern having campaigned for a reduction in migration and restrictions on foreign ownership of houses and said to favour a 30,000 a year cut in immigration.

‘At this stage what we know is that the new government has indicated that they will ban foreign purchase of existing houses. Whether there are further restrictions beyond that, there is a lot of uncertainty,’ said Christina Leung, principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.

‘But I would say that at the moment, it’s more the uncertainty itself over what new protectionist measures will be put in place which would weigh on demand for housing,’ she added.

The latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show that in the 12 months to September migration fell to 71,000, down from the record 72,400 recorded in July. ‘Compared to the peak, we had fewer arrivals and more departures in the September 2017 year,’ said population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan.

The data from Statistics New Zealand shows that net migration was mostly driven by non-New Zealand citizens, who provided New Zealand with a net gain of 72,600 migrants. Migration of New Zealand citizens saw a net loss of 1,600 migrants.

Both arrivals and departures of non-New Zealand citizens were up from a year ago. Arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens increased from 94,400 in the September 2016 year to 99,600 in the September 2017 year. Departures of non-New Zealand citizens increased from 22,300 to 27,000 over the same period.

Net migration was 6,800 in September 2017, down from 7,900 in September 2016. Migrant arrivals were 11,100 and migrant departures were 4,300 in September 2017. The drop in net migration in September 2017 was due to both the decrease in migrant arrivals, down 600,and the increase in migrant departures with a rise of 500.