Several changes have been made or will be made to the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) policy settings. This alert summarises the key changes.
- Increase of the median wage rate to $29.66/61,692.80 per annum (40 hour work week) and the twice median rate to $59.32 per hour/ $123,177.60 per annum (40 hour work week).
- Introduction of a 6 month Recovery Visa - (Specific Purpose Work Visa) to help in the recovery efforts following Cyclone Gabrielle and other recent weather events.
- Proposed introduction of conditions to Partnership Work Visas, where a sponsoring temporary visa holder partner does not work in a role that is on the Green List and is not able to meet associated requirements, or is not paid twice the median wage. Changes will not impact current Partnership Work Visa holders or those that submit applications before 31 May 2023. The new conditions are likely to require Partnership Work Visas holders to be paid the median rate or at a reduced rate if they work in a role that benefits from the wage rate exemption.
- Workers that submit new Accredited Employer Work Visas to work in Tourism and Hospitality roles, that benefit from the wage exemption, will need to be paid at least $28.18 per hour from April 2022.
- Work visa holders already in New Zealand, who need to change their role and location, will be able to do so for up to two months without breaching their visa conditions, as long as they stay with the same employer.
- Introduction of a manual extension system for 2021RV Interim Visas that are due to expire.
- Proposed changes being considered to allow faster processing of visas and an exemption to testing the labour market where roles will support recovery and rebuild.
- Employers will benefit from a 12 month automatic extension to the expiry of their employer accreditation status if an accreditation application is submitted before 4 July 2023.
- Introduction of a temporary freeze on Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) accommodation cost increases and requirement for RSE employers to complete Employment New Zealand e-modules.
- Expansion of eligibility for the Victims of Family Violence work visa to include people who hold a visa based on their relationship as the spouse or partner of a temporary entry class visa holder.
There continues to be a lot of change in the immigration space and INZ is doing its best to implement the policy decisions of the New Zealand government.
All information in this update is current as at 6 March 2023.