There were some major announcements made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this afternoon, 11 May, about the New Zealand border and some updates on the Immigration system moving forward.
New Zealand border
The border will be fully reopened by 1 August 2022, including the maritime border. Which means all visa holders from any country can re-enter New Zealand, including skilled workers, students, and all international visitors.
Visitor visas for Pacific Islands Forum countries will be available for online application from 16 May 2022.
Accredited Employer Work Visa
From4 July 2022, all work visa categories will open for applications,including the new Accredited Employer Work Visa.
The visa will be available mainly to workers earning over the median wage. From 4July the median wage will be $27.76 per hour. However, there are some roles exempt from the median wage threshold, especially in construction and infrastructure, and tourism and hospitality. The list of exempt roles can be found here.
While it was previously announced that only employers wanting to hire migrants under the new AEWV would need Accreditation, it was now announced that in 2023 all employers to be accredited to employ any migrant, including those with openwork rights (such as working holiday visas or students visas).
INZ also released the Green list of occupations that will have a Work to Residency pathway. Employers hiring migrants for these occupations won’t need to do a labour market check, which means the role doesn’t need to be advertised. The Green list occupations can be found here.
Open work visas
Workers on Essential Skills Work Visa, Post Study Work Visa, Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa and eligible Ukraine nationals granted a temporary visa in March that have their visas expiry date between 9 May and 31 December 2022, will automatically get an open work visa valid from 9 May 2022 until two years from the expiry date of the previous visa, that will allow the holder to work for any employer anywhere in New Zealand.
Workers in New Zealand on a Work to Residence Visa expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022, will get a special extension of 6 months from the expiry date of their visa.
Partners and dependent children of above visa holders may also be eligible for extensions on their visas provided they meet conditions such as holding a visa based on their relationship to the work visa holder and having been in New Zealand on 9 May2022.
Eligible visa workers will be contacted by INZ until end of May, no payment will be charged.
Working Holiday Visas
Some WHV schemes opening dates changed. If you want to apply for a Working Holiday Visa, check the opening date of your country’s scheme here.
If you have any questions related to Immigration and any visa categories, get in touch with our team of experts at email@example.com