The government have announced several significant updates to New Zealand’s current and future immigration setting.
We set out key information below.
New Zealand’s border will fully open by 1 August 2022. On 31 July 2022, all student and visitor visa categories will reopen.
All work visa categories will open for applications on 4 July 2022.
A ‘Green List’ has been introduced.
Changes to future Partnership Work Visas in 2023. Initial indications are that partners of Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) holders will be provided visitor visas unless the AEWV holder is working in a role that is on the Green List or pays over 2x median income. Partners of AEWV holders in future will need to apply for AEWVs if they wish to work and their partner’s role is not on the Green List or if their partner is not paid 2x the median income.
It has been indicated that in 2023, all employers will require accreditation in order to employ any migrant. This would indicate that Working Holiday visas and other visas may be phased out in future.
Sector agreements will be used to allow for exemptions to the AEWV $27.76 wage threshold. Current interim lists of roles have been released. Full sector agreement lists will be released in the future. Migrants holding this AEWV while exempt from the wage threshold will be able to work in New Zealand for 24 months, before a stand down period, in which the employee must leave New Zealand for 12 months, will apply. After this stand-down period the employee may re-apply for a visa.
Open work visas have been granted to those in New Zealand holding one of the following eligible visas expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022:
These visas are valid for 24 months from the expiry date of the previous visa and will allow the holder to work for any employer, anywhere in New Zealand. Migrant workers holding this visa may also leave and re-enter New Zealand. Visas for partners and dependent children of eligible visa holders will also be granted provided their visas were due to expire between 9 May – 31 December 2022; and who were physically present in New Zealand on 9 May 2022.
The following visas expiring between 9 May-31 December 2022 have been extended by six months:
Eligible visa holders must have been physically present in New Zealand on 9 May 2022 for this extension to apply.
Partners and children of these eligible visa holders will also have their visas extended, provided they hold a visa based on their relationship to the work visa holder, and were physically present in New Zealand on 9 May 2022.
The following working holiday schemes have had opening dates updated:
|South Korea||10 May 2022|
|China||19 May 2022|
|Taiwan||25 May 2022|
|Argentina||26 May 2022|
|Chile||31 May 2022|
|Luxembourg||17 May 2022|
|Czech Republic||2 June|
From 16 May 2022 online Visitor Visa applications will open for the following countries:
Applicants must be able to show that they are a genuine visitor and only intend a temporary stay.
Consultations to reopen the Skilled Migrant Category will start after 31 July 2022.
A raft of changes for Student Visas and Post Study Visas including the following:
Cruise ships able to return with the opening of the maritime border from 31 July
Allow Critical purpose visitor visas to be granted with multiple entry travel conditions
The latest update provided will form the foundation for policy changes in the future. We anticipate a constant flow of policy amendments in future to transition the announcements that have been made into policy.
For additional details, information can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website here!
Our team is working on a detailed factsheet, which will be circulated once further details have been released by the government.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team.