Migrant support groups will today ask the Government to stop letting migrant workers into New Zealand "knowing full well there are no jobs for them", and to commit to helping those already here and grappling with unemployment.

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman will be urged at a meeting this morning to do something about the plight of workers who have lost their jobs in the recession.

A position paper, representing the views of about 200 people who attended a public forum in May, will also be presented to the minister, Migrant Action Trust spokeswoman Agnes Granada said.

The other groups meeting the minister will include representatives from employers of migrant workers and Migrante Aotearoa, a migrant workers union.

Ms Granada said her group was approached by five new migrants from India and the Philippines yesterday seeking help to find work - with three of them arriving a fortnight ago.

"It is totally hypocritical that Immigration continues to freely issue new work-to-residence visas, while at the same time telling migrant workers already here they cannot renew their work permits because the jobs are meant for Kiwis," Ms Granada said.

"It is unfair for New Zealand to continue taking new money from new migrants knowing there are no jobs for them here, and then telling them to get out when they have run out of money."

The Department of Labour said about 188,000 temporary work applications were approved in 2007-08, and 38,349 were within the labour tested category.

Ms Granada said migrants seeking work are being discriminated against as a result of the Government's "Kiwis first" work policy, and many were made redundant during the period in which they lodged their application for permanent residency.

Her attack follows a statement issued last week by a Christchurch-based migrant aid group, Move2NZ, which claimed the attitude of immigration officials is: "We've taken your money, used your skills, now bugger off!".

British newspapers reported this week that New Zealand authorities are sending home migrant workers to save jobs for their own citizens.

The Daily Mail said British expatriates "face losing their jobs and being kicked out of the country" because of the economic crisis and what is said to be a major shift in policy by the New Zealand Government.

"The dreams of hundreds who left for a better life on the other side of the world are now turning into nightmares."

Immigration says the policy is based on ensuring New Zealanders have the first opportunity to take up work vacancies, and there is now an increased supply of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents available and qualified to fill positions previously on the skill shortage list.

There are still 60 professions on the long-term skill shortage list which includes mechanics, boat builders, electricians, fitters and turners, and 87 on the immediate shortage list including lab technicians, glaziers and gasfitters.