Employers

Visa queues

Visa applications are not being processed for anyone based overseas (expect more news on this soon). People in New Zealand who have applied for residence under the Skills categories face long delays. There are more people applying for residence than places available.

31/07/20202 min read
Visa queues


Visa applications are not being processed for anyone based overseas (expect more news on this soon).

People in New Zealand who have applied for residence under the Skills categories face long delays. There are more people applying for residence than places available. The Residence Programme determines how many people can be approved residence from time to time. The current programme expired 31/12/2019 and the government has not decided 7 months later what the new programme is for the next one to two years. Immigration NZ were left with no choice given the vacuum to just keep running the old programme until told otherwise.

Priority is given to workers earning NZD $51 per hour or $106,080 per annum OR require occupational registration by law to carry out their job (nurses, electricians, doctors, vets etc). About 90% of applications being processed right now are priority cases and take around 2 to 4 months from lodgement to be allocated to an Immigration Officer for assessment.

All non priority applications are moving very slowly with the oldest application lodged in late December 2018 still waiting for allocation.

The delays have placed huge strain on migrant workers who cannot plan for the future despite working here for many years. They are prevented from buying a home, face huge costs for children to attend university and live every day uncertain if they will get to stay.

Migrant workers facing the prospect of losing their job will need to find alternative employment quickly to secure an ongoing future in New Zealand. While there may be a temporary reprieve to allow them to stay in New Zealand it will not be long term. The government’s expectation is once a job is lost, and there is no new job then it is time to leave the country.

If you are considering a restructure we strongly recommend any affected migrant workers or your HR team take advice from Malcolm Pacific Immigration.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

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.

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