Partner Work Visa changes coming in April 2023

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In December 2022, Immigration New Zealand was set to implement partner work visa changes.

However, on 5 December 2022, Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced that New Zealand had deferred the changes to April 2023.

This amended implementation date is now fast approaching.

What changes is Immigration New Zealand implementing?

Currently, the partners of migrants with Accredited Employer Work Visas can apply for a visa based on their relationship to the visa holder. Successful applicants have open work rights in New Zealand. That means the visa holders is able to work in New Zealand for any employer.

However, once the changes to the partner work visas come into effect:

  • partners will only be eligible for Visitor Visas, and
  • must qualify independently for an AEWV to be able to work in New Zealand.

Why this big shift?

The main reason for the change to the partner work visas is that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) wants to focus on bringing critical skills into the country.

“A key feature of the rebalance is a focus on building the skills that New Zealand needs, as opposed to the old system, which had a focus on large volumes of low wage labour in some sectors. This is a shift, but it will be better for the New Zealand economy, and it will reduce the unacceptable levels of migrant exploitation that the old settings facilitated”, Minister Woods explained in his press release.

Minister Woods added, “The number of partners of temporary migrant workers coming to New Zealand grew significantly in the years prior to COVID-19, as did temporary migrant worker numbers. While partners of temporary migrant workers work in a variety of roles across New Zealand, they tend to be concentrated in lower-paying sectors.”

In conclusion, Minister Woods said, “Given the aim of the rebalance, it is important that we ensure the integrity of the system by recruiting for genuine skill shortages for both the primary applicants and their partners.”

What should you do?

Migrant couples where one partner wishes to apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa must do so as soon as possible.

Once the changes come into effect, INZ will apply the legislation changes to any new visa applications it receives.

Get started today!

If you have a job offer from an accredited New Zealand employer, book a consultation call with us today.

Our team will work with you to compile your visa application and submit it as quickly as possible.

You’ll be in good hands!

Our advisors, Katrin Maja O’Flynn and Maike Versfeld, are registered and licensed with New Zealand’s Immigration Adviser Authority (IAA).

Don’t just take our word for it. Read what our clients have had to say about working with us on Google.

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