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Release of Migrant Trends and Outlook report Monday, 2 November 2015

New figures released today show big increases in the number of skilled migrants, students and visitors to New Zealand.

The 15th annual Migration Trends and Outlook report shows the number of Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) residence approvals in the 2014/15 financial year (1 July 2014-30 June 2015) increased by four per cent on the previous year to 21,165 – almost half of the total of 43,085 residence approvals.

There was also an eight per cent increase in the number of Essential Skills workers to 28,548 – the third consecutive increase since the start of the global financial crisis, which reflects the strong demand for labour in New Zealand. More than 170,000 people were granted a work visa all up - a rise of 10 per cent – with the United Kingdom the largest source country, followed by India, China and Germany.

The number of international students approved to study in New Zealand went up by 16 per cent to 84,856 while the number of visitors, excluding Australian citizens, was around 1.49 million, up 11 per cent from the previous year.

Acting Head of Immigration New Zealand, Steve McGill, says the roll out of online student, work and visitor visa applications over the past few months has contributed to the growing numbers.

Mr McGill says the report also shows that Canterbury is returning to normal after the devastating earthquakes earlier this decade. The Canterbury region had the second highest regional net migration gain of 6,400 people with a steady increase in the number of arrivals since the 2011/12 financial year.

“Importantly for Canterbury’s economy the number of students coming to the region is rebounding with the number of new students up 20 per cent on last year to nearly four thousand,” he says.

Migration Trends and Outlook 2014/15 report

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