The government’s recent “Immigration rebalance” announcement set out future changes to work and residence visa pathways. Notably, absent was any word on the Skilled Migrant Category (points system) or the Investor Categories. We were told an announcement on these categories will be made “in coming months”. Read this as a clear signal for change. The Partnership category is heading for review. The Parent category reopening looks to be on the agenda in 2023.
Applications open for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV NZ) on Monday, 4 July 2022. Anyone applying for an AEWV will need to hold a job offer from an employer that has been “accredited” by Immigration NZ and the job has been cleared through a “job check” (which means there are no kiwis available to fill the role and the job is compliant with employment law).
Applicants must be paid at or above the median wage of $27.76 per hour (before tax and any lawful wage deductions), hold qualifications and experience to carry out the job and pass character and health checks.
In December 2022 partners of migrant workers will no longer automatically receive work rights. Instead, most partners will be issued a visitor visa. If a partner wants to work in the future they will need to qualify for their own AEWV but will be allowed to work less than the normal minimum of 30 hours a week if they need to care for children.
Chefs wanting to work in New Zealand will soon need formal qualifications to secure a work visa. Any overseas chef/cooking qualifications will need to be assessed to establish if they are at Level 4 or above on the NZ Qualification framework (including at the level of the NZ Certificate in Cookery, Level 4). It just got much tougher for restaurants and hotels to recruit overseas chefs!
There will be a transition to the median wage requirement for certain occupations in a limited number of sectors. For a period of time jobs paying $25 per hour will qualify for two-year work visas. After two years if the worker is not being paid at the median wage or above they will have to leave NZ. The sectors included in this transition are Tourism, Hospitality (but not chefs), Construction and Infrastructure. Not every job in these sectors will qualify so take advice before applying.
A limited number of opportunities to apply for residence are scheduled to open in September 2022.
People with highly skilled job offers can apply if their occupation is on the “Green List” or they are paid double the median wage ($55.52 per hour or a salary of $115,482 per annum).
What is the Green List ? This list replaces the three skill shortage lists (Long Term, Regional Skill and Construction/Infrastructure) that have been in existence for many years. Occupations on the Green List do not have to be advertised by employers to satisfy the labour market test and may open an immediate pathway to apply for residence or after working in New Zealand for two years. Occupations on the Green List are available to review now. This list will be reviewed in 12 months then every 3 years.
Warning: All occupations on the Green List have a requirement that overseas qualifications are equivalent to NZ qualifications and/or require NZ occupational registration. In some cases, a minimum income requirement applies. Character and health checks will apply to everyone included in the residence application.
The median wage and occupations on the Green List will change from time to time.
Applying for work visas or residence is never straightforward. We recommend you speak with a licensed immigration adviser in Auckland to assess your eligibility to apply.
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 team is on standby, ready to help.
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Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
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.