This is day one of our nation closing for the next 4 weeks (or longer). All kiwis and visitors must stay at home and only go out for food shopping, prescriptions or exercise. We need to keep at least 2 metres distance from anyone who is not part of our household.
Only essential government services and businesses remain open.
What does this mean for our corporate clients?
Immigration NZ (INZ) processing offices are all now closed. This means residence applications are not being processed until INZ staff can return to work (in at least 4 weeks’ time). There is nothing that can be done right now to move an application forward. People waiting for a residence application decision will need to be patient.
Because INZ offices are closed paper based residence applications cannot be lodged. This may change if couriers can be delivered but right now there is no way to lodge an application.
If any staff have an Invitation to Apply for Residence (ITA) expiring in the next 4 to 8 weeks tell them to get in touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration's Auckland Immigration advisers for advice.
A limited number of INZ staff can work remotely to process online temporary visa applications. Priority is being given only to essential workers required in New Zealand to help with the COVID-19 crisis (such as health workers).
Any other temporary visa applications will be delayed.
Anyone currently overseas wanting to get to New Zealand should significantly reduce any expectation to arrive while this lock down is in place due to the border closure and a trickle of flights landing here.
Workers who are in New Zealand right now and their visa expires on or before 1 April 2020 must apply now to extend the visa (plus those of their immediate family). Once they apply an interim visa is issued that will keep them lawfully in New Zealand for now.
Workers in New Zealand right now; and still in the country on 2 April 2020; and whose visa (plus those of their immediate family) expires between 2 April 2020 and 9 July 2020 will automatically get a visa extension through to 25 September 2020. The new visa will be emailed to your staff member (or to Malcolm Pacific Immigration in which case we will send it onto them and let you know).
We strongly encourage those staff to work with us now to apply for longer extensions on their visas. Visa applications are already backing up and the longer someone waits to apply the longer it will take them to get a new visa. Your business will not want to be waiting for visa approvals once you reopen.
Anyone holding a temporary visa who intends to leave the country right now should not have any expectation they can return to New Zealand until after the lock down and National State of Emergency has ended. Non-essential travel is not recommended under any circumstance.
You have terminated staff who hold work visas or changed their pay conditions due to the lock down
Normally this would have serious consequences for someone who holds a work visa or has applied/intends to apply for residence. However, this is a historic event and right now there is no clear answer for anyone in this position. INZ has asked the government for direction. Until we have an official answer we cannot provide any clear immigration advice.
We strongly recommend any affected staff contact one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers to update them on the change in circumstances. See our team page.
Our office might be closed but our team are working remotely, and our phones are answered 24/7. Call us anytime on 0800 800 612 to get in touch
Kia kaha (stay strong)
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.
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.
We stay on top of the most important updates to immigration law. Browse below or subscribe and get updates straight to your inbox.
We stay on top of the most important updates to employment and immigration law. Browse below or subscribe and get updates straight to your inbox.
Our team keep ahead of all the latest immigration developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.
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.
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.