Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Mayor applauds looser visa restrictions

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult has commended central government on its moves to loosen visa restrictions for overseas workers.

The New Zealand Government has agreed to relax visa conditions for a short period to allow temporary migrant workers and international students to further assist with essential services during the COVID-19 response.

Mayor Boult says the rule changes would make life easier for migrant workers throughout the Queenstown Lakes District during these tough times.

"Migrant workers are a key part of our district’s workforce, but due to their visa conditions they’re also some of the most vulnerable under the current circumstances," Mayor Boult says.

"I’m grateful the government has recognised the scale of the problem and the challenges it has posed for those with fewer avenues of support. This is another step towards helping our district’s community face these challenges and make it through this crisis."

Temporary migrants already employed in essential services will be able to vary their hours and be redeployed to do other roles within their current workplaces. They can also do their current role in different workplaces to help essential businesses keep operating while Aotearoa New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4 and six weeks after that.

International students who are already employed in an essential services role will be able to work longer hours while Aotearoa New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4 and for six weeks following, although they must still meet study requirements.

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