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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