New Zealand tightens work visa rules

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WELLINGTON, Apr 19: Just a day after Australia and America announced changes to visas for foreign workers, New Zealand has revealed it will tighten access to its skilled work visas.

New Zealand Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said he was taking a “Kiwis-first approach to immigration”, echoing Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump in announcing policies to ensure jobs for Australians and Americans.

Mr Turnbull confirmed the 457 visa would be abolished and replaced with two new visas in a bid to prioritise “Australian jobs”, followed a short time later by Mr Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order which seeks to review the US visa program for skilled foreign workers.

The changes to be introduced to New Zealand later this year include introducing a minimum income requirement, making it more difficult for family members to join visa holders and limiting the amount of time seasonal workers are allowed to stay in the country.

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