Decrease in number of New Zealand visas issued

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New figures released by New Zealand's Department of Labour show that the number of skilled migrants arriving to the country is decreasing. The figures show that the number of people who arrived in the nine months to March 2012 was 13,265, a decrease of about 12 percent compared to the same nine month period in the previous year. The department attributed the decrease due to the global recession.

The country's biggest sources of skilled migrants are the UK and India, each providing 17 percent of the total, followed by the Philippines with 12 percent, China and South Africa at 8 percent each, and Fiji with 7 percent.

There was an increase in Indians applying for skilled migrant visas and the department said: "The increase from India is mainly due to former Indian international students who transition to temporary work and then to permanent residence."

Additionally, the number of international students studying in New Zealand on visas was down 7 percent compared to the same nine month period in 2011. The largest source country for international students is currently China at 26 percent of the total, followed by India at 13 percent, South Korea at 10 percent, and Japan with 5 percent.

The department also said that the numbers of people being approved for New Zealand residency remains steady with 28,674 in the July 2011-March 2012 period, compared to 28,695 for the same period during the previous year.

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