Mid Canterbury's Filipino community is urging the government reintroduce a South Island work visa to help halt an exodus of skilled migrant workers offshore.
Hundreds have signed a parliamentary petition pleading the government bring back the South Island Contribution Work to Residence Visa.
The visa previously ofered a pathway to residency if migrants who were on an essential skills work visa and had worked continuously for five years but had since been made unavailable.
The petition was shared by the local immigration consultancy Jimenez Immigration on its Facebook page last week.
"If we don't act on this as soon as possible, we will continually lose our skilled migrants.
"We personally know of at least five skilled migrants who already left.
"They did not want to leave because they have already built their life here, but there is no future for them, hence the decision to leave."
A total of 637 signatures had been recorded.
The petition closes at the end of the month.
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