Employers

Temporary work visa changes coming

NZ's immigration sector is expecting the most radical shake up in temporary work visa policy in decades. The Government announced pre-Christmas it was consulting on proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visa settings to “ensure that work visas issued reflect genuine skill shortages”.

01/03/20191 min read
Temporary work visa changes coming


New Zealand’s immigration sector is expecting the most radical shake up in temporary work visa policy in decades.

The Government announced pre-Christmas it was consulting on proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visa settings to “ensure that work visas issued reflect genuine regional skill shortages”.

Visas affected include:

  • Essential Skills including the Essential Skills in Demand Lists (ESID)
  • Approval-in-Principle
  • Talent (Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence – Long-term Skill Shortage List occupation
  • Silver Fern (Practical Experience)
  • Silver Fern (Job Search)

NZ employers will have to get approval to be an employer of migrants before they can offer a job to a migrant worker. Employers can get ahead of these changes expected in mid-2019 by becoming an accredited employer now. Minimum salary for a work to residence visa will increase from $55,000 to $78,000 per annum (leap of 41%). If your business is already accredited the salary hike could affect new offshore recruits.

Employers relying on migrant workers should get immigration compliant now. It is no different to health and safety regulation with heavy penalties on business for getting it wrong.

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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