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Changes to New Zealand immigration policies have now come into effect

A notice prepared with Ernst & Young Limited, a Licensed Immigration Advisory Service.

Changes to the Essential Skills, Skilled Migrant and Accredited employer policies have now come into effect.

Set remuneration levels are now determinant of success under both the Essential Skills (temporary work visas) and Skilled Migrant Category (residence visas) policies.

Skill bands will also now set the duration of a visa issued under the Essential skills policy.

Using wages as a proxy for skill is intended to encourage the attraction, selection and retention of higher-skilled migrants.

Employers who utilise lower-skilled labour may find it more difficult to retain migrant staff.

MBIE has also unveiled new Accredited Employer instructions which will allow employers to benefit from longer renewal periods, albeit with increased scrutiny of employment practices. Accredited employers will need to maintain a high standard of employer compliance to access overseas labour.

In light of the changes, please consider the following:

  • Review visa holder population to understand the composition of your workforce and how the changes impact your organisation

  • Understand how the new policies may impact your ability to recruit needed talent

  • Consider the benefits of becoming accredited as well as the increased scrutiny of employer compliance

Download the immigration alert PDF from EY

RCSA is looking to provide more information and a webinar on this issue. Keep a look out for this in the coming weeks.

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