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New Work Visa rules from the Government

Published 13 Sep 2019

The Labour led Government has announced new work visa rules to combat the problem facing 30,000 businesses bringing in skilled workers.

Six visa categories are being replaced by a single new employer-assisted temporary work visa which will ensure that there is an employer check, a job check, and a worker check.

Minister of Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway says "The process allows us to ensure foreign workers are only recruited for genuine shortages, helps us reduce exploitation, and creates better connections between immigration, education and welfare systems." He continues to promise the process will be less complex and more streamlined. Although the new system will require all employers to be accredited first to recruit foreign workers.

Lees-Galloway goes on to state employers with previous failures or offences under Employment Law will not be allowed to become accredited: "The accreditation process that all employers will go through will ensure that no employer that has a history of exploiting migrants or who has a history of not meeting their obligations under employment law..."

However, the Government is also introducing more requirements and incentives for employers to recruit from the existing NZ domestic workforce.

Important points from the Government on this new Visa:

  • Introducing a new employer-led visa framework that will drive the application process
  • Negotiating and introducing sector agreements ensuring there is more planning for future workforce needs
  • Reinstating the ability for lower-paid workers to bring their families to New Zealand
  • Replacing existing skills bands with a simple remuneration threshold aligned to the median wage
  • For higher paid jobs, replacing the current set of skills shortage lists for cities and open access for regions
  • Strengthening the labour market test for lower-paid workers
More to come on this.