Recent Immigration Update
General, Immigration, Employment Law / 26 April 2023
New Zealand (INZ) released and announced several changes recently that will help some industries/sectors relieve labour shortages.
New Health Roles
On 11 April 2023, INZ announced that 32 new health roles were added to the Green List and all Green List health roles will be moved to the Straight to Residence pathway. Eligible applicants will be able to apply on 29 May 2023.
Two new roles, i.e. 231213 Ship’s Mater/Skipper and 899211 Deck Hand will be added to the sector agreement. These roles and bus and truck drivers will have a time-limited pathway to residency. Full details will be announced in late May.
Working Holiday Scheme
INZ announced an automatic extension of six months to holders who currently live in New Zealand with visas due to expire between now and 30 September 2023. Also, the holders will have open work rights.
Further, the annual cap of the Spain Working Holiday Scheme will increase to 2,000. The holders will have 12-month open work rights. The changes took effect on 13 April 2023.
Minimum hourly rate in the tourism and hospitality sector
Some specific occupations in this sector can be exempt from the median wage threshold and paid $25.00 per hour. However, from 24 April 2023, the minimum hourly rate for these occupations will increase to $28.18.
Non-eligibility for an Accredited Employer work visa (AEWV)
If you wish to hire migrant workers, please check and ensure the candidates either hold a valid work visa or will be eligible for an AEWV during the interview. It is because, from 1 April 2023, guardians of student visa holders are not eligible for an AEWV.
Accredited employers should receive an email from INZ regarding Post accreditation Checks which are underway. If accredited employers are not compliant with INZ requirements and relevant law suspension or revocation may result.
Message for employers
For help with INZ requirements including AEWV queries, our team can help.
Disclaimer: We remind you that while this article provides commentary on employment law, health and safety and immigration topics, it should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice for specific situations. Please seek legal advice from your lawyer for any questions specific to your workplace.