Most of the news over the last few months has centered around the border entry of more groups of people offshore. We experienced a brief reprieve from tightly closed borders when the short-lived travel bubble opened to Australia.

Sadly, the Covid-19 Delta variant outbreak has reminded us of the risks we are still facing. Hopefully, with the Covid-19 vaccination program in New Zealand hitting hyper-drive we will see the freeing up of borders early next year.

Onshore Work Visa changes

Onshore work visas for people earning under the newly increased median wage of $27.00/hour are now able to apply for a 2-year work visa increasing from the current 6-month visa. Note that the June 2021 statistics show a slight increase in the median hourly wage to $27.76 and so it is likely that the median wage threshold will increase slightly to this level in November or later in the year.

Workers who are staying in their current role, with the same employer and the same location are able to renew their visas via a new streamlined process.

With most of INZ in Lockdown level 4, paper based visa applications such as Variations of conditions are not currently being processed.

New groups of Offshore Workers able to enter New Zealand

Migrants now more than ever are essential to our strong position in the Covid-19 world. With the ever-increasing demand for skilled workers in New Zealand, employers are having to look offshore to fill the shortage.

New groups have been able to apply to enter including:

  • More types of critical Health workers
  • More “Other Critical Workers” including teachers (and their families) and dairy farmers
  • Seasonal workers from specific Pacific Island nations

Further details of each group of workers are available upon contacting us.

Skilled Migrant Category Update

We are all anxiously waiting for any announcements regarding the opening of the Skilled Migrant category EOI pool that has been suspended for over a year and the speedy processing of residency visas still waiting to be decided.

We, as always, are here to help navigate what is your best option and assist you and your family with any aspect of your immigration needs.

Renee Asici

Licensed immigration adviser