Over a thousand registered doctors and nurses are stuck in the stagnated immigration queue. Many are planning on leaving New Zealand. The Government is under pressure from GPs to urgently re-open residency for healthcare workers to avoid losing them overseas.
Nina Fransham moved from UK to NZ with her family in December 2019. Her application is stuck in the residency queue for skilled migrants. Unfortunately, she has to move back to the UK soon as she has no access to KiwiSaver, healthcare or the ability to buy a house.
NZ shut its borders in March 2020 when the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in Immigration New Zealand shutting down residency applications. This left 10,000 skilled migrants in the queue of which 901 are registered nurses and 235 are doctors. There critical healthcare workers that are desperately needed in New Zealand are now just waiting for the Government to make a decision.
Healthcare workers leaving New Zealand is making the already bad situation worse. There is criticism about the applications of medical professionals being stuck in the residency queue. Moreover, as they leave the country, they will have to be replaced with more migrant doctors and nurses.
Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi refused to comment on the issue only stating he was working on it. Earlier this year border exemptions were created to bring in more healthcare workers but he is now losing the ones who are already in New Zealand because of unnecessary immigration hassles.
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Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.