Migration Trends and Outlook 2010-2011
This annual report is the eleventh in a series that provides information about trends in temporary and permanent migration to and from New Zealand. The report updates trends to 2010/11 and compares recent immigration patterns with patterns identified in previous years.
Globally, the economic slowdown continues to impact on migration...
The global economic slowdown continues to have a significant impact on migration flows, particularly temporary labour migration flows. Migrants have been particularly affected by the economic crisis, with increases in unemployment typically greater than those for the native-born population. Within the OECD, countries continue to modify immigration policies to balance poor economic conditions with current and future labour market needs.
...and the Canterbury rebuild presents challenges and opportunities
The Canterbury reconstruction is expected to help lift economic and employment growth during 2012 and 2013, especially in the Canterbury region. The rebuild will increase the demand for specific skills, particularly in building professions and trades. This is likely to increase the demand for migration where those skills cannot be readily met from within New Zealand.
Net migration in 2010/11 was at its lowest level since 2000/01
In 2010/11, net migration of 3,900 was the lowest since 2000/01. An increase in New Zealand citizen departures, including those leaving Christchurch after the February 22 earthquake, contributed to the increase in departures in 2010/11. The departure of New Zealanders, particularly to Australia, is one of the main drivers of New Zealand's migration patterns. The net loss of New Zealanders to Australia increased from 16,700 in 2009/10 to 30,500 in 2010/11.
International student numbers are high despite the economic downturn...
In contrast to the global slowdown in the number of permanent migrants and temporary workers, international student numbers continue to rise, with more countries looking to students as a source of permanent migrants. Over 74,800 international students were approved to study in New Zealand in 2010/11, up 2 percent on the previous year. India has become the largest source country of new international students to New Zealand, but China remains the single largest source country of international students.
...and 1 in 5 gain permanent residence in New Zealand
International students have become an important source of skilled migrants for New Zealand and other countries. Many countries have sought to attract international students by providing opportunities for them to work or stay in the country permanently after completing study. Over the last decade, 1 in 5 international students gained permanent residence in New Zealand within 5 years of being issued their first student visa.
Temporary work numbers increased for some categories ...
The total number of people approved for temporary work visas in 2010/11 was up 5 percent on the previous year, but trends varied across work visa policies. Despite the overall increase, the number of people admitted under the Essential Skills Policy has continued to decrease, down 3 percent in 2010/11. In contrast, non-labour market tested categories increased - by 8 percent for the Working Holiday Schemes and by 16 percent for the Study to Work Policies.
...but permanent migration to New Zealand decreased
In 2010/11, 40,737 people were approved for permanent residence in New Zealand, which was below the planning level of 45,000-50,000 places. The decrease reflects the impact of the recession on migration opportunities (particularly for skilled migration), as well as disruptions following the Canterbury earthquake of 22 February. The largest source countries of permanent migrants to New Zealand were the United Kingdom (16 percent), China (13 percent), India (10 percent), and South Africa (8 percent).
The United Kingdom and India are the largest sources of skilled migrants
In 2010/11, 21,212 people were approved through the Skilled Migrant Category (52 percent of all residence approvals).The United Kingdom remains the largest source country of skilled migrants (17 percent), although the number of migrants from the United Kingdom has been decreasing steadily since 2004/05. India is the second largest source country of skilled migrants (13 percent), up from 8 percent in 2009/10.
China and the United Kingdom are the largest sources of family-sponsored migration
The Capped and Uncapped Family streams enable New Zealand citizens and permanent residents to sponsor close family members for residence. In 2010/11, 14,826 people were approved for residence through these two streams (36 percent of residence approvals). China (46 percent) was the largest source country of migrants approved through the Parent Policy, followed by the United Kingdom (13 percent). The United Kingdom and China were the largest source countries of migrants approved through the Partnership Policy, 16 and 14 percent respectively.
Around half of approvals through the International/Humanitarian Stream were from Pacific nations
Over 1,300 people were approved residence through the Samoan Quota and Pacific Access Category in 2010/11, with Samoa and Tonga being the largest source countries of migrants approved through these policies. In addition to the Pacific quotas, 705 people were approved through the Refugee Quota Programme. The largest source countries of quota refugees in 2010/11 were Burma (49 percent), Bhutan (27 percent) and Colombia (14 percent).
Migration is expected to increase alongside economic recovery
This report shows the impact that significant local and global events have had on migration flows to and from New Zealand. Globally, the economic slowdown continues to have a significant impact on migration, yet the demand for labour migration is expected to increase alongside economic recovery.
The composition of migrants to New Zealand continues to change. Monitoring migration trends helps us to better understand the wider global environment in which migration takes place, the important developments in New Zealand's key markets, and the impact and success of current immigration policies.