Migration Trends & Outlook 2008/09 - At a Glance
Migration Trends & Outlook 2008/09 is the ninth annual report in a series that provides information about trends in temporary and permanent migration.
Impacts of the global economic slowdown on temporary migration
Impacts have been mixed.
- There have been fewer opportunities for temporary migrant workers to enter New Zealand’s labour market. The slowdown has resulted in both fewer applications and increasing decline rates, as able and appropriately skilled New Zealanders become available to work.
- Tourism has fallen, which in part is also due to the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic. In particular, 15 percent fewer visitors arrived from Asia than in the previous year. However, the decline in European and American visitor numbers was not as severe.
- Export education remains strong and expanded into new markets. About 74,000 international students were approved to study in 2008/09 — 6 percent more than in the previous year. Notably 8,200 students from India were approved to study here — a 42 percent increase from the previous year.
In 2008/09, 46,097 people were granted permanent residence. Of these, 81 percent were granted residence onshore.
- The United Kingdom remains the largest source country of people granted permanent residence (19 percent), followed by China (15 percent) and South Africa (12 percent).
- Residence approvals from the Philippines increased from 2 percent in 2005/06 to 8 percent in 2008/09, making it the fourth-largest source country for residence approvals.
New Zealand has immediate and long-term skill shortages in many areas, and skilled migrants can help meet these shortages. Sixty-two percent of permanent resident approvals in 2008/09 were Skilled/Business migrants.
- Most of the residence approvals through the Skilled/Business Stream were in the Skilled Migrant Category (in which 27,011 people were approved).
- Eighty percent of principal applicants in the Skilled Migrant Category were approved with a skilled job or offer of employment.
Transition between temporary and permanent residence
A growing number of international students are choosing to remain in New Zealand when they have finished studying.
- Fifteen percent of people who gained permanent residence in 2008/09 were previously on student permits, while another 59 percent were previously on work permits. Many students transition to work permits and then gain residence as skilled migrants.
- In 2008/09, 30 percent of skilled migrants gained points for recognised New Zealand qualifications, up from 25 percent in 2007/08.
Family-sponsored migrants and refugees
- In 2008/09, China was the largest source country of residence approvals in both the Uncapped Family Sponsored Stream (16 percent) and the Parent Sibling Adult Child Stream (28 percent).
- New Zealand remains committed to its international obligations regarding refugees, and in 2008/09, 757 people were approved for residence under the Refugee Quota programme. Myanmar was the largest source country of Refugee Quota approvals (24 percent).
Migration Trends & Outlook 2008/09 is available from the New Zealand Department of Labour’s website.
 Application for permanent residence is determined on a points-based system. The more points that can be attributed to an applicant, the greater the likelihood that the applicant will be granted permanent residence.