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Your Questions Answered: 7 July 2020 Employer-Assisted Temporary Work Visa Update Explained

by | Jul 7, 2020 | Articles, Employers, Individuals & Families, News, News & Articles

Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins

The Update

On 7 July 2020, Immigration New Zealand issued an update about employer-assisted temporary work visa holders. This article will outline the changes that were announced in the update and answer your frequently asked questions. The key changes are:

      • Immigration New Zealand will extend existing employer-assisted temporary work visas by 6 months for migrant workers who are in New Zealand and have employer-assisted temporary work visas that are due to expire after 9 July 2020 and before 31 December 2020.
      • Immigration New Zealand will delay the introduction of the 12 month stand-down period for lower-skilled/lower-paid migrant workers who have had their Essential Skills Work Visas extended. This time-limited change will allow lower-skilled/lower-paid migrant workers who are subject to the stand-down between August 2020 and the 31 December 2020 to stay in New Zealand and work for the same employer, in the same job, and in the same location for up to a further 6 months.
      • Immigration New Zealand will reduce the duration of all lower-skilled/lower-paid Essential Skills Work Visas from 12 months to 6 months that are received by Immigration New Zealand on or after 10 July 2020 until 10 January 2022 inclusive. Essential Skills Work Visa applications received before 10 July 2020 will still be granted for 12 months if approved.

Does The Employer-Assisted Temporary Work Visa Extension Apply To Me?

The extension only applies to employer-assisted temporary work visas that are due to expire after 9 July 2020 and before 31 December 2020 and have been specified by Immigration New Zealand. This means that you need to check the expiry date of your employer-assisted temporary work visa and check if your work visa type has been specified by Immigration New Zealand.

Migrant workers who have already received the 25 September 2020 Epidemic Management Notice extension can qualify for this further extension if they meet the requirements.

If your employer-assisted temporary work visa expires on or before 9 July 2020, you will not qualify for this extension. If your employer-assisted temporary work visa expires after 31 December 2020, you will not qualify for this extension.

Immigration New Zealand has specified that the following employer-assisted temporary work visa types will qualify for the extension:

    • Essential Skills Work Visas.
    • Work to Residence Work Visas.
    • Special and Skilled Work Visas for China, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines, and Vietnam.
    • Special Category Work Visas for Japanese Interpreters and Thai Chefs.
    • Work visas granted under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 that specify an employer.

How Will I Know For Sure If The Extension Applies To Me?

Aside from the information in this post, Immigration New Zealand will email you or your lawyer/adviser to confirm your extension by Tuesday 14 July 2020. If you do not receive an extension, make sure you call Immigration New Zealand or use the Visa Verification Service to check your visa status.

I Got The Extension, Does That Mean I Can Work Anywhere?

No, the extension will have the same the visa conditions as your original employer-assisted temporary work visa. This means the same employer, same job, and the same location. If you want to change employers, change your job, or change your location you will need to apply for a Variation of Conditions or a new work visa.

I Got The Extension, But What About My Family’s Visas?

The extension does not apply to partnership visitor/work visas or dependent child visitor/student visas. Their expiry date will remain the same, so they will need to apply for new visas.

I Am On A Post-Study Open Work Visa, Will This Extension Apply To Me?

No, it will not. You will need to apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

I Am On A Student Visa, Will This Extension Apply To Me?

No, it will not. You will need to apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

I Am On A Visitor Visa , Will This Extension Apply To Me?

No, it will not. You will need to apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

I Am On A Limited Visa, Will This Extension Apply To Me?

No, it will not.

I Am On A Interim Visa, Will This Extension Apply To Me?

No, it will not.

I Am In New Zealand, But My Visa Has Expired. What Do I Do?

You may need to leave New Zealand or make a request for a visa under Section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 to try to regain your lawful status. We can help you with this.

What Are The 27 July 2020 Changes About?

Immigration New Zealand is proposing to introduce a new median wage-based work visa classification system. The official policy will be released later this month. Currently, Essential Skills Work Visas have a skill band classification system (higher-skilled, mid-skilled, and lower-skilled). This is determined by the migrant worker’s remuneration and ANZSCO code. Immigration New Zealand is now proposing to simplify this process by implementing a median wage-based classification system. This means that from 27 July 2020, a migrant worker is lower-paid if they are paid below the New Zealand median wage and higher-paid if they are paid at or above the New Zealand median wage.

Lower-paid migrant workers will need to include a Skills Match Report from the Ministry of Social Development in their Essential Skills Work Visa applications. It is not clear as to what higher-paid migrant workers will need to include in their Essential Skills Work Visa applications. Whether a migrant worker is lower-paid or higher-paid will also determine the Essential Skills Work Visa duration. Read more about the proposed mid-2020 changes here.

How We Can Help

This article was written to provide general guidance only. Stay Legal is always happy to provide immigration guidance and solutions. If you have any questions about your visa or your family’s visas, please do not hesitate to contact us.   Please call us +64 7 575 2882 or email hello@staylegal.co.nz.

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