Significant work visa changes

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Requirement changes

This morning, the Minister announced significant changes to work visa requirements. 

These changes will benefit both migrants and their employers, by easily enabling migrants to obtain further work visas to continue in their existing employment.

From Monday, a migrant can apply for an Essential Skills work visa, to continue in their current job, without having to:

  • Show that the employer has made a genuine attempt to find a New Zealand citizen for the job and that none are available or readily trainable;
  • Provide new police or medical certificates, if they have previously been provided to Immigration New Zealand (INZ);
  • Provide evidence that he or she has the qualifications or work experience needed to do the job.

The migrant does not have to already hold an Essential Skills work visa to benefit from these changes. Therefore, this visa option is open to migrants with working holidaymaker visa, critical purpose visas, and partnership visas.

Also, INZ may apply these changes to applications that were submitted before Monday, so as to enable migrants who have already submitted an application to benefit from these changes. 

However, migrants wanting to benefit from these changes, from Monday until 28 August, are likely to have to submit applications using the paper forms, rather than through the current online system.

Delay of the compulsory accreditation scheme

The Minister has also announced that the compulsory employer accreditation scheme, which was due to come into effect on 1 November, will be delayed until sometime next year. We understand that this means that the current work visa regime, including the changes outlined above, will remain in place until then.

For further information, please contact our immigration team.


Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.

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