The government is set to expedite thousands of residence visa applications, RNZ understands.

A now-deleted page on Immigration New Zealand's website suggests the government is also creating a one-off residence visa for migrant workers.

The immigration minister has been under pressure to stall an exodus of highly skilled staff from New Zealand.

Figures early this month showed 26,000 people including nearly 3000 nurses and doctors were still waiting to apply for residence under the skilled migrant category. Expressions of interest have been stalled under the category since autumn last year.

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