Employers

Immigration challenges businesses face in 2022

2021 delivered a year of rolling change and challenges in the immigration space. We expect the theme of 2022 to be no different. There are key milestones locked in for 2022 for businesses to keep top of mind.

16/12/20212 min read
Immigration challenges businesses face in 2022


2021 delivered a year of rolling change and challenges in the immigration space. We expect the theme of 2022 to be no different. There are key milestones locked in for 2022 for businesses to keep top of mind.

  • January 16. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from Australia can skip MIQ.
  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.
  • July 4. Applications open for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (at the same time some work visa categories will close).
  • July 31. Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa close.
  • August. Skilled Migrant Residence category scheduled to reopen.
  • August. A Work to Residence pathway opens for people earning 200% or more of the median wage.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

There are other policy settings the government has under active consideration with decisions expected next year. Noteworthy ones are:

Self-isolation replaces MIQ. More information was expected in December but no release at the time of publishing.

The decision to replace MIQ with self-isolation will be double-checked by the government in early January leaving room for any last-minute changes.

The government has yet to decide priorities for reopening visa categories when foreign nationals can start applying in late April. There will be competing priorities for workers, international students, and visitors. Don’t expect the doors to be thrown wide open. Watch this space.

The final report from the Productivity Commission into immigration settings is due 30 April 2022 and may shape government thinking around the future numbers of migrants gaining residence.

There are strong signals the government will restrict employers from recruiting migrant workers into low skilled/paid jobs.

International students’ numbers are likely to be restricted as the government targets visa settings to attract students into tertiary education at degree level or above.

Work rights for partners of migrant workers and international students may tighten or go altogether.

Happy holidays

Our team are taking a well-deserved break from 24 December and are back on deck from Monday, 10 January 2022. If one of your team needs urgent immigration assistance over the holidays just call us on 0800 800 612 to be connected to one of our licensed immigration advisers.

From our team to yours - all the very best for a happy, safe, and relaxing holiday season. We look forward to working with you again in 2022.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.

Latest Updates

Our team keep ahead of all the latest employment and immigration law developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.

Update

The Green List

From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.

Read more here.

16 May 22
Update

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
10 Feb 22
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

16 Dec 21