New Zealand has decided to make its visa rules stricter for some migrants. The change comes after the country saw a very high number of migrants last year. Immigration Minister Erica Stanford announced the new rules on Sunday. These changes aim to manage the large number of people coming to live and work in New Zealand.

Auckland, New Zealand
(Photo : Yichen from Pixabay)

New Zealand Tightens Rules to Manage Migration and Protect Jobs

Last year, the number of non-New Zealand citizens moving to the country reached almost 173,000. This was one of the highest numbers ever recorded. The government introduced a new visa, the accredited employer worker visa (AEWV), in 2022 to help fill job shortages after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this led to very high migration, which some people were worried about.

According to The Guardian, the new visa rules include several important changes. Migrants will now need to meet English-language requirements for low-skilled jobs. They will also need to show a certain level of skills and work experience to get most employer work visas. Another change is that the maximum time low-skilled workers can stay is now three years instead of five.

These changes are effective immediately. Minister Stanford said these rules will help make sure that migrants are not taken advantage of by bad employers. The new English requirement will help migrants understand their rights better and speak up if they have problems at work.

The government also decided not to expand the Green List, which is a list of jobs that New Zealand really needs to fill. Meanwhile, nearby Australia is planning to cut its migrant intake by half over the next two years. New Zealand's new visa rules aim to balance the needs of the local workforce with the benefits of having migrants.

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Railbookers Relaunches Train Journeys in New Zealand

Railbookers, a company that organizes train vacations, is now offering trips again in New Zealand after stopping because of the pandemic. These train journeys take travelers across New Zealand's North and South Islands.

The company has introduced six different trips that last from eight to 19 days. As per Travel Weekly, these trips use New Zealand's three main train lines: the Northern Explorer, the Coastal Pacific, and the TranzAlpine. Some trips also include a ferry ride on the Interislander, which crosses between the two islands.

The routes connect major cities and scenic spots. The Northern Explorer runs from Auckland to Wellington, the Coastal Pacific connects Picton to Christchurch, and the TranzAlpine goes from Christchurch to Greymouth.

Travelers on these trips will see many beautiful places like the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Fiordland National Park. They can also enjoy cultural experiences, including a traditional Maori feast.

Sarah Handley from Tourism New Zealand said these trips show the great variety of activities in New Zealand, from national parks to wine regions and even movie locations.

The prices for these rail trips start at $2,499 for the shortest eight-day journey and can go up to $8,099 for the longest 19-day itinerary.

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