Immigration advisory workshop coming up

Migrants across the rural sector will get a chance to learn about new immigration policy next month.

An immigration advisory workshop is planned for March 7, with the aim of benefiting people in the Waimate, Kurow and Morven areas.

The workshop will be attended by immigration adviser Jojan McLeod, of Immigration Waitaki, who will share her knowledge and advice.

Among the new immigration policy was a change to the minimum hourly rate for someone defined as a skilled worker.

That rate increased on January 15 to $20.65 per hour, which was an increase of 68c an hour.

Aoraki Migrant Centre manager Rosie Knoppel, who has organised the free event, hosted a similar one late last year, but it was held in the daytime, so a lot of people missed out because they were working.

In response to that demand, Mrs Knoppel has arranged the next event for the evening to cater to those who could not attend the last one.

The workshop aimed to benefit all migrants, in particular those working on dairy farmers, of which there were many, she said.

''It is really to get that better understanding of that new immigration policy,'' Mrs Knoppel said.

''The policy is continuously changing and it's hard for migrants, sometimes, to keep up with all the changes.

''If they have questions, they can ask an immigration adviser who will be on site,'' she said.

''It's also, in general, providing migrants in rural areas with [a knowledge of] what services are available to them and what opportunities there are [in those areas].''

She encourages anyone wanting to learn more to attend.

The event will take place at the Waimate Event Centre in meeting room one, from 6pm to 9pm.

-By Alexis Johnston

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