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.