Employers

The border is closed but you need workers

Thinking about recruiting skilled workers from overseas? Be prepared for a complex, frustrating and time consuming process. Apart from New Zealanders and their families coming home no one can travel to New Zealand without getting approval to cross the border.

21/10/20201 min read
The border is closed but you need workers


Thinking about recruiting skilled workers from overseas? Be prepared for a complex, frustrating and time consuming process. Apart from New Zealanders and their families coming home no one can travel to New Zealand without getting approval to cross the border.

A select group of health workers and a very small list of other skills (controlled by a quota) are approved by the government to gain border entry.

All other workers fall into the category of “other critical workers”. Around 30% of border entry requests for this group were approved until a recent rule change allowed those with “unique experience and technical or specialist skills that are not readily obtainable in New Zealand” improved the odds for approval.

However whether there is a “time – critical” element to the job, the rate of pay, if the purpose of being here has government support or whether the work will significantly contribute to the local or national economy are all factors that make securing approval a roll of the dice. Proving any claims to meet the criteria is paramount.

The new government will need to decide how tight they want to control the border while New Zealand businesses cry out for the skills they simply cannot get locally. Employers do not look overseas if the talent is close by. It has the hall marks of a crisis for business if not sorted quickly .

If you are looking for advice on offshore recruitment talk to Lukas Sousa, Licensed Immigration Adviser on mobile 022 689 5500 or email lukas@malcolmpacific.com.

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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