Big Temporary Work Visa Changes

Big Temporary Work Visa Changes

I would like to share with you the changes for temporary work visas which will be in effect from 1 November 2021. On 7 May 2021, INZ explained a brief timeline and requirements for the accreditation of employers for this big change in temporary work visa policy.

From 1 November 2021, the following work visa applications will be wound up and incorporated into a new system that will involve a process in three stages (1) Employer accreditation process (Employer Check), (2) Advertising process – so called the labour market test (Job Check) and (3) The applicant’s requirements to meet the policies (Applicant Check). This new system will be known as “The Accredited Employer Work Visa” (AEWV)

  • Essential Skills
  • Approval in Principle
  • Work to Residence – Talent (Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence – Long Term Skills Shortage List
  • Silver Fern Job Search
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience

1. Employer’s accreditation process

The big change to the existing work visa system, is that employers will need to go through an accreditation process separately in order to support its employees for a temporary work visa.

A) The requirements of the standard accreditation (if the employer wants to hire UP TO 5 employees under AEWV)

These requirements were discussed in the recent INZ webinar. The employer;

  1. Must be a genuinely operating business including being registered with Inland Revenue and holding a NZBN;
  2. Must not have a recent history of regulatory non-compliance with immigration and employment standards; and
  3. Will take steps to minimise the risk of exploitation, by completing employment modules providing migration workers with advice on their rights, and paying all recruitment.

B) The requirements of the high volume accreditation (if the employer wants to hire 6 or more employees under AEWV)

In addition to the standard accreditation requirements above, these employers must show a commitment to improving pay and conditions for all employees. Jobs with high-volume employers must either meet a minimum pay requirement of 10 percent above the minimum wage or be covered by a collective agreement.

C) The additional requirements for franchisees

In addition to the standard accreditation requirements, a franchised employer needs to have been operating for at least 12 months and have a history of hiring New Zealand workers.

The accreditation for these employers will be 12 months.

These employers can apply for accreditation via immigration ONLINE from late September 2021.

2. Advertisement procedure change (Labour market test)

One of the new changes in the temporary work visa policies is advertising procedures for regionally differentiated criteria are to be visible.

Currently, an applicant for an Essential skills work visa needs to be supported by advertisement/recruitment attempts regardless of what region he/she will work in. However, there will be a different approach in the advertisement process under the new system.

As you can see above, the cities remain under the same process, with a strengthened labour market test setting for low skilled visa applications only. However, there are higher supply regions and low-supply regions. The applicant who wants to work in these regions does not need to be supported by an advertisement if they will receive a salary above the median wage. Please note that market rates must also be paid as a further minimum requirement. If the applicant receives below the median wage, they must be supported by a strengthened labour market test.  This table was introduced in 2019. There may be some changes once INZ provide the final release of the policy in due course.