Getting UK visa for Kiwis just got a bit harder

Getting UK visa for Kiwis just got a bit harder

It could become harder for some Kiwis wanting to work in the UK on certain visas as their government moves to tighten conditions for entry.

The UK government has made changes to the Tier 2 (General) in which 600 New Zealanders used to enter in 2015.

An immigration skills charge now applies which the UK government says incentivises employers to train the domestic workforce and reduce reliance on migrant labour.

British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair says migrant workers are important for filling a skill gap, but "it is right that UK employers look first to the resident workforce".

The Tier 2 visa is the main immigration route for non-European Economic Area citizens to apply to work in the UK.

Other changes to the Tier 2 visa include salary thresholds for experienced workers will increase to £25,000 in autumn 2016 and £30,000 in April 2017. 

Changes will not affect the Youth Mobility Scheme for Kiwis aged 18 to 30 -- 4000 New Zealanders entered the UK through the arrangement.

Kiwis still won't need a visa to visit the UK for less than six months.