Foreign-born workers are excessively exploited and over-utilized in New Zealand. Looking at the poor condition of highly skilled immigrants, the New Zealand government has altered its work visas to safeguard their rights. Iain Lees-Galloway, immigration minister of New Zealand, revealed that the changes are aimed at curbing the exploitation of overseas students. The government announced the changes in the last week and will soon be implemented. According to the proposed changes, international students don’t need to be sponsored for employers for being eligible for the post-study work permit.
Lees-Galloway said that the move was aimed to give back freedom of speech to immigrant workers, who couldn’t speak against ill-treatment they face at the workplace. Stuff Co NZ reported that it also endangers their right to live and work in the country. New Zealand government made the changes after Migrant Workers Association, Unite Union, and other agencies demanded that they should get rid of the clause that binds employees to employers. The proposed change also makes it possible for immigrant workers to exercise their freedom of speech entirely and find a suitable job for them.
The immigration minister mentioned that having New Zealand work experience is very essential for staying back in the country. He added that the changes will retain the work rights while curbing possibilities of exploitation. He also mentioned that many immigrants reported being abused in the workplace and that was because they are dependent on one employer for staying in New Zealand.
To qualify for New Zealand post-study work permit, you must study for a minimum of two years in the country. The permit lasts for only a year, after which you have to switch to a general work permit. If you studied a course that is less than two years, you won’t be eligible for the post-study work permit program.