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Who Can Give Advice On Immigration?

Migrating to New Zealand is an exciting and life-changing experience. Here is a list of resources that can help answering questions and advice on immigration.
April 18, 2023
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5
 min read

Migrating to New Zealand can be an exciting and life-changing experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and complexities. So it's important to know who to talk to and where to go to get reliable information and guidance about the immigration process. 

In this article, we provide a guide on the resources set up by New Zealand to support migrants and who they can contact to help you along the way. So whether you need advice on which visa to apply for, where to find a supportive community or how to make a complaint, you will find some valuable resources below.  

How the NZ Government Supports Immigration & Its Affiliated Agency 

Who is the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment?

MBIE plays a critical role in shaping the economic and social landscape of New Zealand, with a focus on promoting growth, innovation, and fairness. The government ministry is responsible for various functions related to economic development, innovation, employment, and immigration. 

MBIE sets the overall strategy for New Zealand's immigration policies and processes, including processing visa applications and ensuring compliance with immigration laws. For migrants, their website is a source of information about potential policy changes and provides access to have your say via their public consultation portal.

Immigration NZ: The Government Agency in Charge of Immigration.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is the government agency responsible for managing immigration to New Zealand. INZ is responsible for managing the processing and approving of your visa applications. Your application will join a queue and be assessed by caseworkers. Often they manage 1000s of applications; therefore, communication can be delayed. 

INZ's primary functions include the following:

  • Processing visa applications: INZ assess visa applications and determine whether individuals meet the immigration requirements to enter and stay in New Zealand.
  • Setting immigration policies and regulations: INZ works with the Government to develop immigration policies and regulations that support New Zealand's economic, social, and cultural interests.
  • Providing information and support: INZ provides information and support to help individuals understand the immigration process, including visa options, requirements, and application procedures.
  • Monitoring compliance: INZ monitors compliance with immigration laws and regulations and takes action against those who breach them.

Their website below provides immigration information and a portal for your visa application. 

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/

Get Fast, Personalised Support with a Licensed Immigration Adviser

Although you can work directly with INZ to process your visa, many individuals prefer utilising the support of immigration advisers for various reasons. 

Common reasons why people rely on immigration advisers:

  • Helping get a visa quickly.
  • Receiving professional support to ensure you have correctly filled out your application.  
  • Getting advice quickly from people experienced in unique and complex immigration situations.
  • Having more visibility over your application. 

INZ is often processing 1000s of applications. Therefore, getting feedback on whether your application is correct, visa processing delays, where your application is in the queue, or having a simple question answered quickly can be lengthy. 

The help of a licensed immigration adviser can reduce stress significantly during the immigration process and help to provide you with the confidence that you have a robust application. 

A New Zealand licensed immigration adviser offers services from the professional assessment of your personal situation through to managing the application process. Even if your New Zealand visa is about to expire, or you're simply interested in your different visa options, licensed immigration advisers can help you with your immigration process.

Contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration today for a free consultation. We have a team of skilled and experienced advisers in New Zealand who can assist you every step of the way.

Quality of Immigration Advice is Critical: Who to Turn to If You Need Help.

Immigration Advisers Authority. 

The Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) is an independent body established by the New Zealand government to regulate the provision of immigration advice and to protect the interests of people receiving that advice. 

The IAA's primary responsibilities include the following:

  • Licensing immigration advisers: The IAA is responsible for licensing immigration advisers in New Zealand, ensuring they meet professional standards and follow ethical practices.
  • Providing information and guidance: The IAA offers information and guidance to individuals seeking immigration advice, including details on finding a licensed immigration adviser and what to expect from the immigration advice process.
  • Investigating complaints: The IAA investigates complaints made against licensed immigration advisers, taking appropriate action where necessary to protect the interests of those receiving immigration advice.
  • Monitoring compliance: The IAA monitors compliance with the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act and takes enforcement action against those who breach it.

You can contact them via their website: https://www.iaa.govt.nz/

Overall, the IAA's role is to ensure that people seeking immigration advice in New Zealand receive accurate and ethical advice from licensed professionals. The IAA plays an essential role in protecting the interests of migrants and refugees and promoting confidence in New Zealand's immigration system. 

Malcolm Pacific International Works Closely with the IAA.

At Malcolm Pacific International, our licenced Immigration Advisers work closely with the IAA to ensure the highest quality advice is met. Our advisers obtain a licence to demonstrate that they meet the correct professional standards, including their knowledge of immigration law and ethical practices.

We are also governed by the Code of Conduct set out by IAA, which sets out the professional and ethical standards that advisers must meet. This includes requirements around communication, confidentiality, and professional development.

By selecting an Immigration Adviser licensed by the IAA, you can be reassured that you will be protected against poor advice or underhanded behaviour. 

The Voice for Immigrants: NGOs & Government-Funded Organisations.  

There are a handful of Non-Government Organisations, and Government funded organisations migrants can turn to for information and advice. They can cover various issues, including employment, education, housing, healthcare, and other essential services. 

They can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an immigrant in New Zealand and guide you on navigating the settlement process.

The organisations may also focus on promoting multiculturalism by organising events and providing opportunities for you to network, socialise, and build connections with other migrants and members of the wider community.

They can also advocate for immigrants' rights and work to eliminate discrimination and prejudice against immigrants in New Zealand. They can provide support if you experience any difficulties or issues related to your immigration status or settlement process.

They may specialise in a specific area relating to the successful settlement of migrants. By talking to them, you will understand who can best help. Three such examples are:

Belong NZ

https://www.belong.org.nz/

New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils

https://multiculturalnz.org.nz/

Refugee Council of NZ

http://rc.org.nz/

Why Should You Access Community Groups and Forums?

Joining community groups and forums for immigration advice can offer a supportive community who have also been through similar situations; they can provide referrals for advisers they have trusted and provide ways of making friends in your new community. In addition, they can be beneficial for newcomers feeling overwhelmed or isolated.

However, relying on advice from well-intentioned acquaintances on specific immigration questions may not provide accurate and up-to-date information. For example, the guidance that worked for them or the regulations changes may confuse your visa application.

Get a Free Consultation with a Licensed Immigration Adviser.

Don't go through the immigration process alone; we can help guide you.

We are here to save you time, stress and money. So keep up to date by reading immigration NZ news, and contact our expert immigration advisers with any questions.

We are New Zealand's largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts will remove the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch.

Contact our licensed immigration advisers today for immigration guidance.

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 team is on standby, ready to help.

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.

More articles from the blog you might be interested in.

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Update

Migrant Worker Residence

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.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrants 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.

January 9, 2023
Update

New Employer Accreditation Process

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.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 19 July 2021

  • The median wage used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications increases from $25.50 per hour to $27 per hour.
  • Applicants paid below the median wage may be granted a work visa for up to 24 months. The usual 6-month visa validity restriction is suspended until mid-2022.
  • In certain cases, the labour market test is waived and in some cases, it will still apply.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 30 June 2021

  • Employer Accreditation and Approval in Principle applications are now closed.
  • No new Employer Accreditation applications (including renewals) will be accepted until the new process goes live in mid-2022.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Employer Accreditation Becomes Mandatory

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.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From mid-2020 (delayed)

  • Government to negotiate and introduce Industry Sector agreements setting minimum conditions for industries that heavily rely on overseas workers. Sectors include; residential care, meat processing, dairy, forestry, road freight transport, tourism, and hospitality. Construction, horticulture, and viticulture may also be included.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 15 February 2021

  • Dairy Cattle Farmer job offers are now assessed by three new occupation descriptions: Dairy Farm Manager, Assistant Dairy Farm Manager and Dairy Herd Manager. Pay rates and job tasks will determine how long a work visa is valid. Take advice.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 7 October 2020

  • Introduction of "Oversupply" and "Undersupply" occupation lists used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications when a job offer pays less than the median wage.
  • Employers offering jobs to migrant workers where an occupation is on the "Oversupply" list will not get Skill Match reports issued by Work & Income. Solid evidence of genuine attempts to find a local to fill the job will be critical for approval.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 27 July 2020

  • Essential Skills work visa applications are now assessed based on the current median wage (NZD $25.50 or more per hour.).
  • Job offers paying below the median wage require employers to pass the labour market test* and secure a Skills Match Reports from WINZ (work visas granted for a maximum of 6 months).

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 27 May 2020​

  • Regional Skill Shortage List goes live. 15 regions around New Zealand list occupations reflecting local skill shortages in each region. The labour market test is not mandatory provided the job offer matches the occupation and region plus the visa applicant has qualifications and/or work experience set out on the list.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:

  • Has employment paying double the median wage which is currently NZD $51 per hour OR NZD $106,800 per annum; OR Has New Zealand occupational registration and is required to hold valid registration to lawfully carry out their job.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 24 February 2020

  • Wage or salary thresholds increase for Essential Skills Work Visas applications lodged on or after 24/02/2020 (labour market tested; read more here).
  • Higher Skilled employment increases to $38.25 or more per hour ($79,560 per annum*)
  • Mid Skilled Employment increases to $21.68 or more per hour ($45,094 per annum*)

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 7 October 2019

  • Base salary to qualify for a Work to Residence Visa (WTR) supported by an accredited employer increases from $55,000 per annum to $79,560 per annum (or $38.25 per hour).
  • Pay rates for WTR visas are now reviewed annually.
  • Work visa applicants paid less than $79,560 per annum by accredited employers need to apply under other work visa categories.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 1 November 2021

  • Work to Residence Visa (Accredited Employer and Long Term Skill Shortage) applications close.
  • Applications lodged on or before 31 October 2021 will be processed under current visa settings.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Mandatory Vaccination Required for Travel

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.

January 9, 2023
Update

Employer Accreditation

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.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident 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:

  • Had lodged a residence application under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) or Residence from Work category; OR Had lodged an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) in the SMC pool that included at least one dependent child aged 17 or above.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

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:

  1. Settled.
  2. Skilled.
  3. Scarce.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

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:

  • Workers in NZ who held an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and on the day they apply for residence; OR Applied for an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and the work visa application is subsequently approved and still hold an eligible work visa on the day they apply for residence.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Critical Purpose Visitor Visas

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.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • July 4. Applications open for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa.
  • July 31. Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa close.
  • August. Skilled Migrant Residence category scheduled to reopen.
  • August. A new pathway to residence for people earning 200% or more of the median wage.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

January 9, 2023
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.

January 9, 2023
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.
January 9, 2023
Update

The Green List

In order to address labour shortages in New Zealand's crucial industries the NZ government has implemented a "Green List" of sought-after high-skill occupations. This list offers a prioritised pathway to residency.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Occupations are broken down into two tiers: 

  • Tier 1 - direct pathway to residence
  • Tier 2 - requires a period of two years or longer before applying

The recent additions in May 2023 across many sectors can be found here

June 16, 2023