Employers

Immigration in 2021

Businesses looking to recruit skilled workers from overseas face continued challenges from a closed border. The Covid-19 Response Minister, Chris Hipkins has been quoted saying that travel restrictions will likely be in place for another 12 to 18 months.

11/12/20201 min read
Immigration in 2021

Businesses looking to recruit skilled workers from overseas face continued challenges from a closed border. The Covid-19 Response Minister, Chris Hipkins has been quoted saying that travel restrictions will likely be in place for another 12 to 18 months.

We hope the government will start making decisions shortly on certain immigration issues that are causing problems.

These include:

  • Easing border restrictions for international workers to fill skill shortages where there are clearly no Kiwis available.
  • Setting the next residence programme (this determines how many resident visas are approved by Immigration NZ). The last programme expired 31/12/2019.
  • Reopening the pathway for skilled workers who are in New Zealand to apply for residence. Many have been working here for years and cannot plan a future while the Skilled Migrant category remains suspended.
  • Prioritising Investor Visa application processing. Almost NZD 3 billion is sitting in a queue in Wellington. We risk losing these precious investment dollars and the amazing human talent that come with these funds. For every $1 invested to meet visa requirements another $2 to $3 is invested elsewhere in our economy (that is around $9 to $12 billion of potential investment).
  • Reviewing the Entrepreneur Visa policy. If this visa were modified, then people with real business acumen and funds could be working/investing alongside Kiwi businesses to help them grow as well as protecting and/or creating jobs. Currently most Entrepreneur applications are declined.

Immigration can support New Zealand’s economic recovery while still protecting the border.

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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