Pacific visas reopened to help boost workforce

  • Hon Michael Wood

Work continues on delivering on a responsive and streamlined immigration system to help relieve workforce shortages, with the reopening of longstanding visa categories, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced.

From 3 October 2022, registrations for the Samoan Quota will reopen, and from 5 October registrations for the Pacific Access Category will reopen.

“This is a major milestone as the Pacific Access Category and the Samoan Quota are longstanding visa categories that enable people from our Pacific partner countries to become residents of New Zealand,” Michael Wood said.

“It recognises the historical relationship between New Zealand and Pacific, and we are thrilled to see these categories opening again to our Pacific neighbours.

“Collectively these pathways will provide for up to 5,900 people to become residents over the next two years, helping reduce the impact of global labour shortages and help grow our economy.

“Registrations for the ballots will now primarily be made online. The move to online will see a quicker and more streamlined process for registrants, as ballots are only open for one month.

“We also recognise the impact the move to online will have in some circumstances, and work has been done to ensure there are resources available to ensure registrants have all the information they need to apply online with ease.

“The 5,900 places over the next two years includes unused places from the 2020/2021 ballots which are being re-distributed. The Pacific Access Category unused ballots will be re-allocated across the 2022 and 2023 years, while the Samoan Quota ballots will be re-allocated over the four years from 2022 to 2025.

“We look forward to welcoming more of our Pacific neighbours through these residence pathways,” Michael Wood said.

The Samoan Quota registrations will be open from 3 October and close on 2 November, and registrations for the Pacific Access Category will be open from 5 October and close on 4 November.

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