** NEW ** Active Investor Plus residence category

The new Active Investor Plus residence category will open on 19 September 2022. The category replaces two existing investor categories and is designed to encourage direct investment in New Zealand. Applicants will require a minimum of NZ$5 million investment, if it is a direct investment. Investments in bonds and property will no longer be accepted. The new category will include an English language requirement of IELTS 5.0. You can read more on the Immigration New Zealand website.

 

 

** NEW RESIDENCE CATEGORIES ANNOUNCED **

Immigration New Zealand has released the details of three new residence categories.

  1. Straight to residence – Green List Tier 1
  2. Work to residence – Green List Tier 2
  3. Work to residence – Highly paid

Under all three categories, you must:

  • Have a job offer from, or be employed by, an accredited employer
  • Be 55 years old or younger
  • Meet English language requirements
  • Meet health and character requirements

In the table below, we have summarised the key requirements of each category.

Occupation requirement Employment terms and conditions Qualifications and experience Minimum period of employment in New Zealand

 

Straight to residence – Green List Tier 1 Must be a Green List Tier 1 occupation. Green List Tier 1 occupations include Mechanical Engineer, General Practitioner (GP) and ICT Security Specialist

 

Must be genuine, full time and permanent or for at least 12 months. In some instances, independent contractors may be eligible You must meet the qualification, experience, registration and/or salary requirements specified in the Green List None
Work to residence – Green List Tier 2 Must be a Green List Tier 2 occupation. Green List Tier 2 occupations include Midwife, Secondary School Teacher, Plumber and Dairy Cattle Farmer

 

Must be genuine, full time and permanent or for at least 12 months You must meet the qualification, experience and registration requirements specified in the Green List You must have worked in a Green List Tier 2 occupation in New Zealand for two years. You can count employment that meets the requirements from 29 September 2021

 

Work to residence – Highly paid None Must be paid twice the median wage, currently $55.52/hour. Must be genuine, full time and permanent or for at least 12 months None You must have worked in a highly paid role in New Zealand for two years. You can count employment that meets the requirements from 29 September 2021

 

 

Applications under the “Straight to residence” category will open on 5 September 2022. Applications under the work to residence categories will open in September 2023.

New Zealand to fully re-open

At 11.59pm on Sunday 31 July, New Zealand’s border will fully re-open. This means that wherever you are in the world, you will be able to apply for a visa to travel to New Zealand. We are aware that there are a large number of migrants wishing to travel to New Zealand to visit family and friends. From 1 August, it will be possible to apply for visitor visas from offshore, including a General visitor visa and a Parent/Grandparent visitor visa. We anticipate a large volume of visitor visa applications being lodged during August and the processing times for these may extend beyond the advertised five month processing timeframe.

We are familiar with Immigration New Zealand’s online application system and the documents required to support visitor visa applications. If you would like to support a family member or friend to travel to New Zealand, or you are overseas and wanting to travel to New Zealand, get in touch with us today.

Visa fees to increase from 31 July 2022

From 31 July 2022 most Immigration New Zealand visa application fees will increase. Some of the increases will be significant. Here are some examples:

Current visa fee in New Zealand Visa fee in New Zealand from 31 July
Partnership residence application $1480 $2750
Skilled Migrant residence application $2710 $4290
Accredited employer work visa $595 $750
Partner of a worker work visa $495 $700

If you would like assistance to apply for a visa before the visa fees increase, please get in touch today.

Border re-opening key dates

The New Zealand border has partially re-opened and many people, including New Zealanders, visa-waiver visitors and work visa holders are now able to travel freely to New Zealand. However, the border will full re-open during July.

  • On 4 July 2022 migrants offshore will be able to apply for an Accredited Employer work visa
  • On 31 July migrants offshore will be able to apply for student visas and visitor visas

If you are planning on travelling to New Zealand, it is important that you are aware of not only the immigration requirements, but also any travel requirements such as pre-departure testing, traveller declarations and NZeTA.

If you are overseas and wanting to travel to New Zealand, contact us today so we can guide you through the process.

Employer accreditation – Are you ready?

Immigration New Zealand’s new Employer Accreditation scheme opens in a few days. The scheme is designed to combat migrant exploitation, reduce employers’ reliance on lower-skilled migrants and make it easier for employers to fill genuine skill gaps.

  • Step 1: Employer Accreditation – From 23 May employers will be able to apply for accreditation. Employers must be a genuine and viable business and comply with immigration, employment and business regulations. Only employers who hold accreditation will be able to support an Accredited Employer work visa.
  • Step 2: Job check – From 20 June employers will be able to apply for a job check. Employers will need to demonstrate that there are no New Zealanders available to fill the vacancy they have. All jobs must be paid at the median wage of $27.76/hour or above, unless there is an exemption in place.
  • Step 3: Accredited Employer work visa – From 4 July migrants will be able to apply for a work visa. The visa must be supported by an Accredited Employer and the employer must have an approved job check.

We have packages in place to support employers through the first two steps of the process. We are also able to provide assistance to migrants with obtaining an Accredited Employer work visa. If you require any help to navigate the changes, get in touch today!

Immigration assistance for Ukrainians

Due to the war in Ukraine, the government has announced a number of immigration policies to assist those affected.

  1. New temporary visa for family members of Ukrainian New Zealanders: Ukrainian New Zealanders are now able to sponsor their parents, grandparents, siblings and adult children and their immediate family to travel to New Zealand. The offshore family members must have been living in the Ukraine in January 2022. Successful applicants will be granted a two-year visa with work or study rights.
  2. Visa extensions for Ukrainians in New Zealand: Ukrainians in New Zealand with a temporary visa due to expire before the end of the year, will be granted a visa extension allowing them to remain in New Zealand for a further 12 months.
  3. Offshore Ukrainians holding valid visas able to travel to New Zealand:  Ukrainian citizens who hold a valid New Zealand visa and are offshore, can travel to New Zealand immediately.

If you require any assistance with obtaining a visa for your Ukrainian family members, please get in touch today.

UPDATE – Key dates – New Zealand border re-opening

The New Zealand border is being re-opened in stages during 2022. The government is constantly reviewing their re-opening plan and making changes as time passes. New Zealand citizens and residents are now able to return to New Zealand from anywhere in the world. Those with border exceptions also continue to be permitted to travel to New Zealand. Some of the keys dates are:

  • 11.59pm Sunday 13 March 2022
    • A number of Working Holiday visa schemes opened including for citizens of the UK, Canada, USA, Japan, Germany, France and more
  • 11.59pm Tuesday 12 April 2022
    • Australian citizens and permanent residents can travel to New Zealand
    • Existing work and student visa holders (onshore and offshore) can travel to/from New Zealand
    • 5000 international students will be eligible to travel to New Zealand
  • 11.59pm Sunday 1 May 2022
    • Visa-waiver visitors can travel to New Zealand
    • Existing visitor visa holders (onshore and offshore) can travel to/from New Zealand
  • July 2022
    • Accredited Employer work visa holders will start to be able to travel to New Zealand

Note that all travellers must still meet any COVID-19 requirements including pre-departure testing. Please refer to the government’s COVID-19 website for further details.

UPDATE – Re-opening of the border in 2022

Yesterday the government made two important announcements about the border re-opening:
  • From 11.59pm on 2 March 2022, eligible vaccinated travellers will no longer have to complete any self-isolation requirements.
  • Stage 2 of the border re-opening plan will be moved forward to 11.59pm on 4 March 2022.

This means that from later this week, vaccinated New Zealanders and eligible travellers from anywhere in the world will be able to enter New Zealand and they will not have to complete seven days of self-isolation. Note that all unvaccinated travellers, including New Zealanders, must still complete a stay in managed isolation (MIQ).

Stage Date The following people will be able to travel to New Zealand
Stage 1 From 11.59pm on 27 February 2022 ·       People with border exceptions and New Zealanders will be able to travel from Australia

 

Stage 2 From 11.59pm on 4 March 2022 ·       People with border exceptions and New Zealanders will be able to travel from anywhere in the world

·       Working Holiday schemes will start to re-open

·       The ‘other critical worker’ border exception requirements will be relaxed

 

Stage 3 From 11.59pm on 12 April 2022 ·       Offshore work and student visa holders

·       Work and student visa holders in New Zealand will be able to travel overseas and return to New Zealand

·       Up to 5000 international students

·       Additional border exceptions to be created

 

Stage 4 From July 2022 ·       People travelling from Australia

·       Visa waiver visitors

·       Accredited Employer work visa holders who are paid at the median wage

·       Offshore visitor visa holders

 

Stage 5 From October 2022 ·       All other travellers

·       Applications for all visas will re-open

 

Staged re-opening of New Zealand border in 2022

New Zealand’s border will re-open this year in stages for fully vaccinated New Zealanders and travellers. The plan will enable New Zealanders and migrants to travel to New Zealand without entering managing isolation.

Stage Date The following people will be able to travel to New Zealand
Stage 1 From 11.59pm on 27 February 2022 ·       People with border exceptions and New Zealanders will be able to travel from Australia

 

Stage 2 From 11.59pm on 13 March 2022 ·       People with border exceptions and New Zealanders will be able to travel from anywhere in the world

·       Working Holiday schemes will start to re-open

·       The ‘other critical worker’ border exception requirements will be relaxed

 

Stage 3 From 11.59pm on 12 April 2022 ·       Offshore work and student visa holders

·       Work and student visa holders in New Zealand will be able to travel overseas and return to New Zealand

·       Up to 5000 international students

·       Additional border exceptions to be created

 

Stage 4 From July 2022 ·       People travelling from Australia

·       Visa waiver visitors

·       Accredited Employer work visa holders who are paid at the median wage

·       Offshore visitor visa holders

 

Stage 5 From October 2022 ·       All other travellers

·       Applications for all visas will re-open