The Government Has Just Announced Some Short Term Changes To Visa Settings For Temporary Work Visa Holders In New Zealand.
As the ongoing situation with COVID-19 continues to impact New Zealand and the rest of the world, Immigration New Zealand has just announced several changes to temporary work visas that aim to help businesses maintain their existing workforce for an extended period of time, while ensuring opportunities for New Zealanders are not negatively impacted in the short and longer-term.
There are three key changes.
The first change is to extend all existing employer-assisted temporary work visas for people who are in New Zealand and whose visas are due to expire before the end of 2020 by six months. That includes work visa holders whose visas are due to expire after 9 July, as well as those visas that were previously extended to 25 September under the Epidemic Management Notice.
To align with the six month extension for temporary work visa holders in New Zealand, the second change is to delay the introduction of the 12 month stand down period for lower-paid workers who have had their employer-assisted work visa extended.
The stand-down period means that people who have been in New Zealand on a lower-paid Essential Skills visa for three years are unable to be granted a new Essential Skills visas until they have spent 12 months outside New Zealand.
This time-limited change will enable lower-paid migrants who are subject to the stand-down between August 2020 and the end of December 2020 to stay in New Zealand and work for the same employer in the same occupation and location for up to a further six months, in line with their visa extension.
However, the stand down period will still apply if a migrants who is subject to the stand down moves to another lower-paid Essential skills work visa.
The third change is to reduce the duration of all new lower-paid Essential Skills work visas from 12 months to six months to mitigate future labour market risks.
This will apply to all new lower-paid Essential Skills work visa applications lodged from 10 July.
Applications received prior to 10 July will still be granted a 12 months visa if approved.
Together, these changes provide more certainty in the short-term while businesses look to recover from COVID-19 and enable employers to utilise the skills of work visa holders they already employ.
With New Zealand's Immigration policy regularly adapting to the current pandemic we highly recommend seeking professional advice if you are unsure of your situation or wish to seek further clarity in the options available to you moving forward. To book an appointment with our licensed immigration adviser please visit - https://www.easyvisa.co.nz/book-an-appointment.html