We hope you are well, and are excited for the holiday period ahead.
As we approach the end of 2023, we have a number of updates and announcements from the New Zealand Government and Immigration New Zealand.
Change of New Zealand Government
The end of 2023 has seen a change in New Zealand government and a shift in immigration perspectives.
We have a new incoming Minister of Immigration, Erica Stanford, who is a well known proactive Member of Parliament in all areas of immigration. From what the new government has campaigned for, and recent media stories, we are positive that immediate and future changes to immigration instructions will benefit both current and prospective New Zealand migrants.
Some of the Government key initiatives:
- A 5-year extended Parent Visitor Visa, with the possibility of a further extension – ideal for those seeking ongoing parental support for their growing families.
- Reduce the required hourly rate for partners of work visa holders, providing access to a broader range of roles. This change, from the current median hourly rate of $29.66, aims to alleviate financial burdens for new arrivals. Additionally, it seeks to enhance the retention of skilled workers and address immediate labour shortages across various sectors.
- Diversify the selection of countries that international students come from.
- Add a Global Growth Tech Visa pathway for those with specialised skill sets.
- Support faster processes for doctors coming to work in New Zealand.
Recent Immigration New Zealand changes and announcements
Extension of Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
As of 27 November 2023, 3 year duration AEWV holders who are paid at least the median wage, can apply to have their work visa extended to 5 years. Care workers paid at level 3 and 4 will also be eligible for the extension.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) have highlighted that there are phone call scams targeting mobile phone numbers within New Zealand. If you are a victim of one of these scams please report to CERT NZ.
If you have any concerns regarding a phone call regarding your immigration status, please contact Immigration New Zealand directly to discuss your concerns.
Changes to 90 day trial periods
As of 29 October 2023, employers offering roles to Accredited Employer Work Visa applicants are no longer able to use the 90 day trial period in employment agreements. Employers who do offer agreements with the 90 day trial period included will be in breach, and applications for AEWV’s will not be approved. If you have an application which began processing prior to this date or hold a current AEWV you will not be affected. If you have any concerns, we can assist you.
Skilled Migrant Category reopens
October saw the new Skilled Migrant Points Pathway open for applications. The changes now require 6 points in order to be eligible to apply, as opposed to the previous 180.
Interim Visas and Variation of Conditions
For those migrants who have a Skilled Migrant Residence Visa application in process under the new SMC Points pathway, a new interim visa will be in effect if your current temporary visa expires. This will also apply to any dependents included in your SMC application.
List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment changes
Further to this, Immigration New Zealand will be making changes to the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment, there is a current review being undertaken in 2 phases and we will update you once completed.