Between 1946 and 1975, New Zealand experienced a net gain from migration of 312,588; from 1975 to 1990, however, there was a net outflow of 110,877. Under new immigration policy guidelines issued by the government in May 1974, immigrants are selected according to specific criteria, such as job skills, health, character, age, and family size. The same restrictions now apply to British subjects as to others who wish to take up permanent residence. Citizens of Fiji, Tonga, and Western Samoa may be admitted under special work permits for up to 11 months. About 7,000 Indochinese refugees settled in New Zealand between 1975 and 1990. The number of asylum applications increased from 712 in 1995 to 1,964 in 1998. New Zealand is one of only ten countries in the world with an established resettlement program, with an annual quota of 750 as of 1999.
Australia is the preferred destination for New Zealanders departing permanently or long term. In 1999, the net migration rate was 3.01 migrants per 1,000 population.