On the 30th September, Immigration New Zealand announced the release of a new Residence pathway. This will be a welcomed development for many existing and new employees, in this article we provide an overview of the changes and what to expect. If you would like to have a more detailed discussion with one of our fully licensed advisors, please contact us via email: [email protected] or complete a contact form.
A new Residence pathway will be available to employee’s on eligible Work Visas (full list here), provided they meet the criteria.
Criteria for employee’s already in New Zealand
Work Visa holders must have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and be on an eligible visa or applied for an eligible visa before 29 September 2021 (provided this work visa application is eventually approved).
They must also meet one of the following criteria:
- Have lived in New Zealand for three or more years (note that this does not need to be consecutive but must be between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021 inclusive)
- OR: earning at or above the median wage ($27 per hour) on the 29th September 2021
- OR: work in a role on a scarce list. This includes the Long Term Skills Shortage List, jobs requiring occupational registration (health or education sectors), personal carer and other critical healthcare workers, specified primary sector positions – for lists available here.
For any employee’s who meet the general criteria but are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by 29 September 2021 given travel & MIQ restrictions, then they may still be considered eligible.
Criteria for new employee’s arriving in New Zealand on a Critical Purpose Visa
Two groups of Critical Purpose visitor visa holders will be eligible, provided they arrive in New Zealand and apply before 31 July 2022.
- Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and
- Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months).
Those employee’s in a short term or seasonal role on a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, less than six months, will not be eligible.
Applications can be submitted online. Immigration NZ have advised that information about fees and the application process will be available by the end of October.
What are the dates I need to be aware of?
Immigration New Zealand are inviting applications in two phases. Some applicants will be eligible to apply from the first of 1 December 2021 and the remainder from March 2022. All applications must be submitted by 31 July 2022.
To be eligible to apply on or after the 1st December, at least one of the following criteria would need to apply:
- Already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work categories before 29 September 2021, or
- Submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, and have included your dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.
From 1 March 2022 all other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.
Immigration NZ have advised that those who they determine are eligible to apply from 1 December 2021 will receive an email from Immigration New Zealand by the end of October with further information.
What does this mean for my company?
We know that many of our clients and their employees have been heavily impacted by the delays and uncertainty around Residence Visa applications. It’s also been a concern for many of our clients who are in the process of applying for Critical Purpose Visas and expected to arrive post the 31st October. This new Residence category will provide certainty and peace of mind to existing employees and also new hires, which is invaluable in the recruitment process. It will also avoid the need for multiple renewals or new applications, all of which come at an additional cost.
Immigration New Zealand have advised that they expect the majority of applications to be processed within 12 months, with many being completed much faster than that. For any applicants with existing Residence from Work applications in process, it is important to carefully assess the most effective course of action. We would recommend consulting with a licensed advisor.
For more detailed information about the changes and how they might impact your people, connect with our team of fully licensed advisers by contacting Crown World Mobility at [email protected] or complete a contact form.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from INZ. Information is subject to change without notice.