Employers

Immigration reset – what does this mean for business?

In May the government announced plans to change the way immigration is managed. While light on detail of what and when changes may occur, there are some clues for the business community. Reduce reliance on lower-skilled migrants through introducing mandatory employer accreditation in November 2021.

17/06/20211 min read
Immigration reset – what does this mean for business?


In May the government announced plans to change the way immigration is managed. While light on detail of what and when changes may occur, there are some clues for the business community.

  • Reduce reliance on lower-skilled migrants through the introduction of mandatory employer accreditation in November 2021. The expectation is employers will upskill more kiwis.
  • Work rights for partners of temporary workers included in future reforms.
  • Skilled Migrant residence settings to change. Review to start later in 2021.
  • Increasing border exceptions to assist economic recovery while the border remains closed.
  • Investment Attraction Strategy to encourage high-value international investment into New Zealand.
  • Attract people to New Zealand who want to make large, long term investments in business and jobs.
  • Increasing the number of visa applications available online and move to phase out paper-based applications.
  • More resources to combat migrant exploitation.

This reset aim appears to be reducing the number of migrant workers in New Zealand at any one time. Employers will be disappointed given there are severe skill shortages throughout all industries. As we learn more about this new direction, we will include any changes that impact business in our newsletter.

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Latest Updates

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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