Visa News

Work visa rules set to change

The government is proposing radical changes to job driven work visa policy that currently allows migrant workers to come here to fill skill shortages. Traditionally work visas have been issued where an employer can prove there are no kiwis available to fill the job.

01/03/20191 min read
Work visa rules set to change


The government is proposing radical changes to job driven work visa policy that currently allows migrant workers to come here to fill skill shortages. Traditionally work visas have been issued where an employer can prove there are no kiwis available to fill the job or the skills required are on official shortage lists.

The new rules will mean all employers first apply for “Accreditation” and need that application approved before any work visas can even be applied for. Employers can expect to be put under the microscope and be well vetted before becoming accredited. Our experience from other countries with similar systems is that getting a work visa becomes a lot more complex and time consuming.

The minimum salary for migrant workers wanting work to residence visas will increase from $55,000 to $78,000 per annum (41% increase).

These changes are expected to go online in mid-2019. Anyone holding a work visa based on employment would be wise to apply now for an extension before the new rules kick in.

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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