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Source: Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Leeann Watson says businesses in Waitaha Canterbury will welcome the news that valued workers that have been stuck offshore will now have the opportunity to return to Aotearoa New Zealand.
The announcement by Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi will help new residents stuck offshore keep their residency status while COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place. This means that individuals whose travel conditions are about to expire will receive a 12 month extension to travel to New Zealand, and those whose travel conditions have expired on or after 2 February 2020 (when travel restrictions began) will be issued a new visa, also valid for 12 months.
“The announcement that visa holders that are normally resident here and have retained their job can apply for a border exemption is a great boost to local businesses,” says Ms Watson.
“Sectors right across the region have felt the impact of the loss of these workers, many of whom hold essential positions in their workplaces. Employers have indicated that many projects have been delayed or negatively impacted in infrastructure, health, and telecommunications without these critical workers.
“Many of these visa holders have lived in New Zealand for years and make a strong contribution to our communities.
“This is a really positive step towards establishing a balance between efficient border management controls and the importance of allowing the movement of people into the country for our economic recovery. It also provides businesses with a degree of certainty around this issue during what continues to be a very challenging and unsettling time.”