Work visa changes coming into effect on 7 October 2019

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On 7 October 2019, a number of visa changes are coming into effect in New Zealand. These changes affect the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa and the Silver Fern Job Search Visa.

Three major changes to the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

Immigration New Zealand are making three changes to the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa. They are:

  • Increasing the annual salary limit from NZD55,000 to NZD79,560,
  • Removing the option to get a Permanent Resident Visa if applicants apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa, and
  • Limiting the amount of time employers can be accredited to 24 months.

Increasing the minimum salary

The new minimum salary applies to all Talent (Accredited Employer) Work visas INZ receives from 7 October, regardless of when the employer became accredited.

The new salary of NZD79,650 is based on a 40-hour week, or NZD38,25 per hour. If your job is for more than 40 hours a week, you must earn at least NZD38,25 an hour.

Should you the salary you’ll receive fall short of the new minimum required, you could apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa instead.

Removing the option to get a Permanent Resident Visa

From 7 October, if you do not have a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa or a current application, you’ll no longer be able to get a permanent residency if you apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa.

At the moment it is possible to apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa if you’re earning NZD90,000 or more a year. This resident visa then offers a Permanent Resident Visa.

If you applied for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa before 7 October and receive your visa, you’ll still be able to apply for Permanent Resident Visa later.

Limiting employer accreditation to 24 months

As of 7 October, employers who apply for accreditation can only be accredited for 24 months before having to reapply. This limit is to allow for some changes INZ are making to the way employers recruit workers from overseas.

Permanent closure of the Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa

The Silver Fern Job Search Visa offers open work visas for young, qualified people who intend to find skilled employment in New Zealand.

Usually INZ accepts applications for this visa on an annual basis, but INZ is permanently closing applications for the Silver Fern Job Search Visa on 7 October.

If you already hold a Silver Fern Job Search Visa, don’t worry – you are not affected by the closure and your visa conditions stay the same. You can also still apply for a Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.

More changes coming in the next two years

The New Zealand Minister of Immigration has announced their intention to introduce a number of other changes from now until 2021. The biggest change is INZ’s intention to replace six existing work visas with one new temporary work visa.

You can read more about all the planned changes on our blog.

Get in touch if you need assistance with your visa application

As emigration to new Zealand becomes more and more complex, let us guide you through the best options for your visa application.

If you are serious about emigrating and are ready to talk, you can book your formal assessment with one of our licensed emigration advisers.

Book your telephone consultation here. You’ll get an email from one of our team members explaining the next steps.

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