New work visa application process


From 1 November 2021 employers must be accredited before they can employ migrant workers. This will impact anyone in New Zealand holding a work visa and employers of migrant workers.


Most employers are not accredited. The government is introducing mandatory accreditation. At the same time they are shutting down six work visa categories to replace them with one work visa. 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.


There will be three steps in the new application process:


  1. Employer applies for accreditation.

  2. Job offers are checked by Immigration NZ to make sure it is compliant with employment law and the labour market test is passed (unless the job is paying 200% of the median wage, in which case the labour market test will not apply).

  3. Worker check – Immigration NZ assesses work visa application including health and character requirements and that the applicant has the skills and experience to do the job.


Government fees will apply to at least two of these steps.


There is still more detail to be announced. Watch this space. Contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration today if you want advice how this may affect you.

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