Farmers urge visa changes to keep skilled migrants

From Morning Report, 6:17 am on 24 January 2019

Farmers are warning skilled migrant workers will leave the country unless their visas start reflecting their much-needed skills. Visa settings introduced just before the last election limit some workers classed as low-skilled to three-year visas. Previously, they were able to stay in New Zealand on renewable visas, but a new standdown period of one year means they'll have to leave the country. Federated Farmers Dairy Industry Group chair Chris Lewis says modern farms need highly-skilled staff. He told RNZ reporter Gill Bonnett some workers have degrees and feel it's demeaning to class work as low-skilled for immigration purposes.