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New Immigration Act Commences 29 November 2010

Published 01 Oct 2010

Source: Immigration New Zealand

The Immigration Act 2009 will come into effect on 29 November 2010.

The key change for employers in the Immigration Act 2009 is that holding an IR 330 form (Tax code declaration) will no longer be a “reasonable excuse” for employing a non-New Zealand citizen who is not entitled to work in New Zealand. Instead, an employer would have to show that they took reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to check whether the foreign national was entitled to work for the employer in New Zealand

The Department of Labour has introduced an online system which will allow an employer to easily obtain information on a potential employee's work entitlement has been introduced by. The system is called 'VisaView' and will enable all New Zealand employers to enquire about the work entitlement of a job applicant who is a foreign national

An employer will simply need to provide information such as a passport number and the last name of the applicant. VisaView will check against the Department's database and in most cases provide a 'Yes' or 'No' answer, together with any specific work conditions that may apply. VisaView also maintains a history of enquiries, which will be a useful way for an employer to demonstrate due diligence in relation to Immigration Act requirements.

Penalties for employing someone who is not entitled to work in New Zealand are serious. Under both the current and new immigration laws, penalties are up to NZ$10,000 for allowing a foreign national who is not entitled to work in the employer's service to do that work, and up to NZ$50,000 for allowing a foreign national to work while knowing that person is not entitled to do so.