Essential Skills work visas have changed

Immigration New Zealand has changed the way in which they assess Essential Skills work visas.

If you earn $25.50/hour or more:

  • You may be eligible to apply for a three year work visa
  • You may be able to support your partner for an open work visa or a visitor visa
  • You may be able to support your dependent children for a student or visitor visa
  • Your employer will not need to liaise with Work & Income

If you earn less than $25.50/hour:

  • You will only be eligible to apply for a six month work visa
  • You will only be able to support your partner for a visitor visa
  • You may be able to support your dependent children for a student or visitor visa
  • Your employer must liaise with Work & Income

Work visa policy changes

Immigration New Zealand announced several key work visa changes yesterday.

  1. Automatic extension of some work visas: Those in New Zealand holding an employer assisted work visa (including an Essential Skills work visa) on 10 July 2020 which is due to expire before 31 December 2020 will have their visa automatically extended by 6 months.
  2. Duration of lower skilled work visas reduced: The duration of new lower skilled/lower paid Essential Skills work visas will be reduced to 6 months from 10 July 2020.
  3. Remuneration used to assess work visas: From 27 July 2020 Immigration New Zealand will no longer rely on ANZSCO to assess work visa applications. From 27 July 2020 Immigration New Zealand will use a remuneration threshold ($25.50/hour) to determine whether a Skills Match Report is required for a work visa and to determine the duration of the work visa.