2021 interim visa

Immigration New Zealand has introduced a new interim visa, the 2021 interim visa. The 2021 interim visa will enable 2021 resident visa applicants to remain lawfully in New Zealand while their 2021 resident visa application is processed. If you apply for a 2021 resident visa and your current visa expires while you are waiting for the 2021 resident visa to be processed, you will be issued a 2021 interim visa. This is great news as it will mean many migrants will not have to apply for a new temporary visa, such as a work visa, to remain lawfully in New Zealand while their residence application is processed.

 

 

 

2021 resident visa opens tomorrow for phase 1 applicants

The much awaited 2021 resident visa opens tomorrow, 1 December 2021, for phase 1 applicants. The 2021 resident visa is a “one-off” opportunity for some work visa holders in New Zealand to obtain residence.

To be eligible, you must have been lawfully in New Zealand on 29 September 2021 and held an eligible work visa on 29 September 2021.

You must also meet one of the following criteria:

    1. Settled – You must have arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018. You must have spent a minimum of 821 days in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021.
    2. Skilled – You must be working full time in a role being paid $27/hour or more.
    3. Scarce – You must be working full time in a role included on one of Immigration New Zealand’s scarce lists.

There are a number of other points to be mindful of including:

  • You must be lawfully in New Zealand to lodge the application
  • You must hold an eligible visa when you lodge the application
  • The Immigration New Zealand visa application fee is $2160
  • Applications will close on 31 July 2022

There is going to be high demand for this residence category, especially on 1 March 2022, when phase 2 applications open. It is important that you seek advice from a licensed immigration adviser early to ensure you have everything you need to lodge your application.

We can assist you to apply online at the first available opportunity. Contact us today for a free quote.

New 2021 resident visa

The New Zealand government has announced a new 2021 resident visa. The new 2021 resident visa is a “one-off” opportunity for some work visa holders in New Zealand to obtain residence. Immigration New Zealand has indicated that the process will be simpler and faster than current employment-based residence categories.

CRITERIA

To be eligible for the 2021 resident visa you must:

  • have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021; and
  • hold an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.

Some of the eligible visas are:

  • Essential Skills work visa
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List work visa
  • Post study work visa
  • Talent (Accredited Employer) work visa

In addition to meeting the base criteria set out above, you must also meet one of the following:

  1. have lived in New Zealand for three or more years; OR
  2. earn at or above the median wage of $27 per hour; OR
  3. work in a role on a scarce list.

TIMEFRAMES

The following people are able to apply from 1 December 2021:

  • you have applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work categories before 29 September 2021; OR
  • you have submitted a Skilled Migrant Expression of Interest and you have included a dependent child aged 17 or older before 29 September 2021

All other eligible applicants can apply from 1 March 2022.

The new 2021 resident visa category will close on 31 July 2022.

MORE INFORMATION

Immigration New Zealand has indicated that more information will be provided later this month.

If you have any questions about your eligibility, please get in touch today.

New streamlined process for Essential Skills work visas

New streamlined process for Essential Skills work visa applications

The Minister of Immigration recently announced some changes to Essential Skills work visas to streamline the application process.

 

  • Any applicant for an Essential Skills work visa who has previously provided a medical, x-ray and police certificate to Immigration New Zealand, will not be required to provide a new medical, x-ray or police certificate with the Essential Skills work visa application.

 

  • Where special streamlined criteria are met, certain documents and evidence will not be required to support an Essential Skills work visa.

 

    • Applicants will not have to provide an employment agreement
    • Applicants will not have to provide evidence of their qualifications and experience
    • Employers will not have not provide evidence that there are no New Zealanders available

 

  • In order to meet the special streamlined criteria, the Essential Skills work visa applicant must be remaining in their current full-time employment (same job, same employer, same location) and they must hold:

 

    • any type of work visa; or
    • a student visa to study a Masters or PhD; or
    • a Critical Purpose visitor visa as a critical health worker; or
    • a Critical Purpose visitor visa granted for more than six months as an other critical worker.

 

These changes will result in a simpler application process for some applicants.

 

Essential Skills work visa changes

From 19 July 2021, the median wage of $27/hour will be used by Immigration New Zealand to determine whether an applicant is paid “at or above the median wage” or “below the median wage” for Essential Skills work visas. Your rate of pay is very important as it determines the duration of the work visa and also whether or not you can support your partner or child’s visa.

 

Rate of pay Duration of visa Partner Dependent Children
Median wage or above

 

$27/hour or more

 

Three years Partner is eligible to apply for an open work visa or visitor visa based on the relationship

 

Dependent child is eligible to apply for a visitor visa or student visa

 

The Essential Skills work visa holder must meet the remuneration threshold of $43,322.76pa

 

Less than the median wage

 

Less than $27/hour

 

Two years

 

Partner is eligible to apply for a visitor visa based on the relationship

 

Partner must apply for a work visa in their own right (i.e. have a job offer)

Dependent child is eligible to apply for a visitor visa or student visa

 

The Essential Skills work visa holder must meet the remuneration threshold of $43,322.76pa

 

 

If you have any questions about Essential Skills work visa requirements, contact us today!

Sleepover hours in the aged, residential care and disability care industry

Recent changes to work visa policy mean that persons working in the aged, residential care or disability care industry are able to work sleepover hours in some instances.

Essential Skills work visa holders are now able to work sleepover hours if they:

  • currently work in the aged, residential care or disability care industry; and
  • work at least 30 hours per week at the pay rate specified on their work visa; and
  • are allowed to sleep during the overnight work; and
  • are paid at or above the minimum wage for any sleepover hours.

This will be good news for many migrants working as caregivers, personal care assistants and disability care workers.

If you have any questions about this recent policy change, please get in touch today!

 

 

Work visa changes

On 1 November 2021, a new work visa, the Accredited Employer work visa, will be introduced. The Accredited Employer work visa will replace six current work visas including the Essential Skills work visa.

The new work visa process will have three steps:

  1. Employer check – The employer must apply for and obtain accreditation
  2. Job check – The employer must demonstrate that there are no New Zealanders available to fill the role, that they are offering the market rate for the role and the terms and conditions comply with employment law
  3. The migrant check – The migrant worker applies for the Accredited Employer work visa

The employer must obtain accreditation before the migrant will be able to apply for an Accredited Employer work visa. Employers will be able to apply for accreditation from September 2021.

More details about the changes will be released over the coming months.

New border exemption

Partners and children of workers employed in critical health services are now eligible to request an exemption to travel to New Zealand. To be eligible for this exemption:

  • You must be outside of New Zealand and wishing to travel to New Zealand
  • You must be the partner or dependent child of a work visa holder in New Zealand
  • The work visa holder must have a visa which specifies they must work in a critical health service

Critical health services include caregivers along with registered health practitioners, ambulance workers and others.

Key updates to border restrictions

Currently, persons travelling from India, including New Zealand citizens, are not permitted to enter New Zealand.

Today, New Zealand designated India, Brazil, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea as “very high risk countries.” This designation relates to the high numbers of COVID-19 cases in these countries.

From 11.59pm on 28 April 2021, further restrictions will come into effect for those travelling to New Zealand from very high risk countries. This means that from 11.59pm on 28 April 2021, the only people who will be permitted to travel to New Zealand from very high risk countries are:

  • New Zealand citizens;
  • Partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens; and
  • Parents of dependent children who are New Zealand citizens.

A consequence of the restriction is that from 11.59pm on 28 April 2021, New Zealand residents and other visa holders will not be permitted to travel to New Zealand from India, Brazil, Pakistan or Papua New Guinea. Non-New Zealand citizens will need to spend at least 14 days outside of a very high risk country before being permitted to travel to New Zealand.

All other standard pre-departure testing, quarantine and visa requirements remain in place.