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Latest visa updates

 Immigration New Zealand (INZ) are excelling themselves with various ad hoc visa rule alterations over recent weeks, and we have got more on Accredited Employer Work Visas.

Visa updates

Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV) update – The introduction of the Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV) has suddenly been delayed until mid 2022. Employers don’t be complacent, new staff members still need full documentation, and you will be grateful to have recorded evidence of your immigration compliance history moving forward. Meanwhile, applications for the Accredited Talent Employer, Labour Hire Accreditation and Approval in Principle, other than for crew of fishing vessels, closed on the 30 June 2021.


Border exceptions for the dairy industry – The latest exceptions allow up to 150 dairy farm workers in management roles on farms, up to 50 workers in dairy assistant roles, and up to 50 general practice vets to enter New Zealand, along with their partners and dependent children. Minimum salary rates and specific prior experience apply, so logistics and costing make these exemptions difficult to qualify for.


Instructions for work visa temporarily relaxed – The need to provide supporting documentation such as advertising, contracts, medicals and police certificates is currently relaxed for onshore work visa applicants continuing in existing employment.


INZ temporarily closes online work visas – Until 1 September 2021 work visa applications must be couriered to INZ in hard copy. Leaping back to the past.


Medium hourly wage of $27 – Job offers under this rate are considered to be lower skilled for work visas and for work visa determination. Skilled Migration Category (SMC) job offers will need to meet this new medium hourly wage rate.


Two year work visas for lower skilled workers – Onshore work visas for lower skilled workers can now be granted for 24 months.


Visitor, work and student visas applications withdrawn – Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has begun the process of lapsing 50,000 temporary visa applications and refunding the application fees. Cited as necessary due to the border restrictions, this is devastating to many applicants, their families, schools and employers. The en masse action does not take into account applicants who will be eligible for border exceptions, the extreme skill shortages negatively affecting productivity and the humanitarian aspects, and makes the business of visas that much more complicated. If you, your employer or family member receives one of these notifications, seek professional help now to reassess your unique situation.


Working Holiday (WH) and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) – Holders in NZ are automatically gaining a further six months if their visas expire between 21 June and 31 December 2021. Those with Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) renewals will now allow the holder to work for any employer in any industry. All other SSE work visa holders are only able to work for approved employers to plant, maintain, harvest or pack crops.


Winter in NZ


Winter sports fans are currently in their element along with those of us taking mid-year vacations and discovering numerous local winter wonderlands. A number of our clients however have experienced extreme flooding this winter and our thoughts go out to them and the scores of wonderful people who are supporting them. Hopefully the Northern Hemisphere folk are enjoying warm days and more freedom thanks to Covid-19 vaccinations.


The devil is in the detail, so don’t hesitate to contact us.


Disclaimer: Mary Noonan is Heartland Immigration Ltd Managing Director, her views expressed in this article are not intended to replace the professional service provided to individual migrants by a Licensed or Registered Immigration Adviser or Migration Agent.

To register here for updates on Employer Accreditation or head to INZ for more on employing migrants.