Changes to work visas

Yesterday the Government announced major changes to the work visa regime that will affect overseas workers and employers. Most of the changes will be introduced during 2020-2021.

Immigration New Zealand will introduce an entirely new process for the employer, labour market and visa applicant. The new process will involve three gateways. The first gateway will be the Employer Gateway. All employers wanting to employ a foreign worker will be required to be accredited.

The second gateway will be the Job Gateway. This gateway will require employers to show that the pay and conditions offered to the overseas worker are consistent with New Zealand standards and that the employer has made a genuine attempt to recruit a New Zealander. Jobs will be classified as either lower-paid or higher-paid. Based on the current median wage, workers earning less than $25 per hour will be considered lower-paid. The location of the role and the rate of pay will determine if a labour market test is required and the duration of any visa granted.

The third gateway will be the Worker Gateway. Only once the employer has obtained accreditation and met the job gateway requirements will an individual be able to apply for a visa. The Worker Gateway will involve checks on identity, health, character and in some cases, qualifications and experience.

You can read more about the changes on the Immigration New Zealand website.

If you have any questions about the changes, please get in touch.

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