Upcoming Changes to Employer Processes and Visas

Immigration New Zealand is expected to make changes in 2021 regarding the process undertaken by the employers to recruit migrants for temporary work in New Zealand.


These changes may affect some employers and migrant works. They include:


· Introducing a new employer-led visa application process that will involve 3 stages


o An employer check – all the employers will be obliged to be accredited under the new rules to hire migrant workers on the new work visa. Please note, the employers who are already accredited will be required to get themselves accredited again under the new rules

o A job check – INZ will check if the employee is paid as per the market rate and if there is a genuine labor market test conducted to ensure the availability of New Zealanders

o A worker check – INZ will assess the application on the basis that the applicant meets the standard character, identity, and health requirements as well as the required skills to perform the job on offer


· A new temporary work visa that replaces 6 temporary work visas, and

· Strengthening the labour market test for low-paid jobs and open access for high-paid jobs in rural regions and lists in cities


Further, INZ plans to introduce sector agreements for a range of industries that employ migrant workers and are being put on hold due to COVID-19 border closures.


The following visas will be replaced with the new visa:

· Essential Skills Work Visa

· Essential Skills Work Visa – approved in principle

· Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

· Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa

· Silver Fern Job Search Visa, and

· Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa.

Further, the following employer schemes will be removed:

· Approval in principle (AIP) before an employer hires migrants on Essential Skills Work Visa

· Accreditation as a Talent Accredited Employer


Please note, the following work visas will not be impacted by the changes:

· Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme

· Working Holiday Visa

· Post-Study Work Visa

· Fishing Crew Work Visa

· Religious Worker Work Visa

· Specific Purpose Work Visa

· Partnership Work Visa including Partner of a Worker Work Visa, Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa, and Partner of a Student Work Visa

· Work Visas granted for International or humanitarian reasons, such as the domestic staff of diplomats, consular and official staff, and refugee or protection status claimants


The new visa will still have the name of the employer, position employed, and place of work mentioned on the visa.


Please note, Immigration New Zealand is still outlining this new process. The detail of the same has not been made available by Immigration New Zealand yet.


We will update you as soon as we hear from Immigration New Zealand.


If you have any further questions or require any clarifications regarding your visa conditions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available to answer your queries via email or text during normal office hours. You can also contact us on +64 7 855 2663.