Christmas Newsletter 2021
❤️️ Greetings All
Another disruptive year, with various visa rule changes resulting in the need for rapid solutions to ensure our clients are not unnecessarily disadvantaged.
❤️️ Opportunity for resilience
Plenty of opportunities for all of us to further develop resilience, and I must admit to being grateful for being able to draw on years of experience at the coal face. Not my first emergency, nor first experience of a once in a decade residence category or difficulties with Immigration New Zealand (INZ) IT systems, from which I have learnt that when simple or easy is used in the context of visas, it rarely is either simple or easy.
Complications and visas are a natural combination as each person or business situation is unique and navigating legislation, INZ instructions and operational logistics is challenging. Thankfully, we are at the beginning of the end to New Zealand’s extreme border restriction for both citizens and noncitizens alike.
❤️️ Border controls
The extraordinary controls designed to shield New Zealand from the severe consequences of Covid-19 will ease in mid January 2022, when vaccinated New Zealanders from Australia can bypass managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). What was once a 14 day stay in a hotel room overseen by medical and security personnel will become a seven day stay at home along with standard Covid-19 testing and visa requirements. A month later, vaccinated New Zealanders from other countries, and then from the end of April other travellers will also be able to bypass MIQ.
❤️️ Offshore visas
Although visa restrictions are as yet to be relaxed, the change to MIQ is a massive leap in the right direction. Employers in various sectors are in tremendous need of skills and labour, education facilities need international students to fill classrooms, migrant workers seek to reunite with their families while tourism enterprises continue to struggle without international visitors.
❤️️ 2021 Residence Visa
The introduction of the 2021 Residence Visa for New Zealand’s migrant workers is a real bonus and a reminder that this is a generous, one off, time sensitive opportunity for many migrant families to gain residence. Don’t delay and don’t underestimate the process as evidenced in the complete IT failure at INZ when Phase 1 opened at the beginning of December 2021.
❤️️ Work Visas have changed
The liberal grants of work visas to migrants already in New Zealand are quickly phasing out as INZ moves towards the employer-led work visa regime. Applications for Employer Accreditation start on 9 May 2022 while on 4 July 2022 it will be a necessity if a migrant worker requires a new or change of work visa. Again promoted as easier, it isn’t, so don’t get caught out.
❤️️ Labour Market Testing changes
Labour market testing has already returned for those seeking new work visas. For those employed under the medium rate, increased to $27 per hour during the year, this involves employer engagement with W&I at MSD.
❤️️ Holiday office hours
Our office closes on Wednesday, 22 December 2021 and reopens on Monday, 17 January 2022. We will monitor incoming communications from INZ. For urgent assistance during the holiday period please send a text message and we will get back to you.
❤️️ My thanks
To our wonderful clients, many who have endured obstacles and difficulties this year, thank you for your custom and may you and yours enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. Remember, we are here to help. Please email or phone: