With the recent increases in application fees, and a strict
approach from INZ, it is more important than ever that employers
know their obligations and how to support their employees in
applying for work or resident visas.
What is apparent is that employers are failing to appreciate or
meet requirements in the following key areas:
A new work visa or a variation of the conditions?
INZ is alert to the fact that workers often aren't complying
with the conditions of their visa, and commonly their employer is
not even aware of this.
So when is a new visa needed? In essence, if the nature and
skills of the role change, a new work visa is required. For
instance, if an employee is promoted to a new position, they must
apply for a new visa.
This is because a work visa is granted on the basis that New
Zealand citizens or residents aren't available to fill that
specific role. If the role changes, INZ needs to ensure that there
are no New Zealanders available to fill the new position.
In some situations, a variation of conditions will suffice. The
three conditions found on a work visa are the occupation, employer
and region of employment. A visa holder can apply for a variation
of conditions when the employer or region changes. For example, if
you relocate an employee from Christchurch to Auckland, but they
hold the same position and work for the same business, a variation
of conditions can be applied for.
When to advertise a position?
Many employers incorrectly believe that once recruited, an
employee simply needs to get their visa renewed whenever it
expires. But this is not true.
While repetitive advertising can seem to be costly and
pointless, INZ seeks to ensure that a position is not given to a
temporary visa holder where there is a New Zealander available to
fulfil the role. So, whenever an employee has to renew their visa,
the employer has to re-advertise the position, to ensure there are
still no New Zealanders available.
The exception is if the position is on the Long Term Skills
Shortage List or the Immediate Skills Shortage List and the
employee holds the listed qualifications or work experience
stipulated on the lists for that position.
What level of advertising is required, and what needs to be
INZ frequently sees, and is quick to pick up on, advertisements
discouraging applications so as to retain the staff member already
on the books.
Employers should be careful to avoid doing the following when
listing a vacancy:
Inflating the qualifications or work experience actually
Stating requirements for skills which are not truly material to
the role, such as an ability to speak a certain language.
Having conditions which deter applicants, such as very low
wages or long hours; the conditions should be comparable to those
held by the existing employee.
Restricting the accessibility of the listing. Advertising
should be both local and national; typically in major newspapers or
on major job websites where it is likely to be seen. Employers
should also consider listing the position with Work and
Wages, deductions and allowances
Employers are required to comply with all labour laws when
employing a temporary visa holder. They must also provide the same
conditions that would typically be acceptable for a New Zealand
citizen or resident.
Wages or salaries need to meet market rates, deductions must be
agreed and recorded, and employers should note that allowances will
not generally form part of INZ's assessment of the
employee's salary, which will always be based on their base
salary and a 40 hour week.
Job descriptions are another area of concern. INZ assesses
whether an applicant is fulfilling a particular role by comparing
duties to prescribed job descriptions found on the Australian New
Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) website.
Applicants must "substantially match" the job description
listed on the ANZSCO.
This has created a tendency for employers to copy the job
description listed on the ANZSCO and claim that as the job
description of their employee, which creates concerns that it
isn't a true reflection of what the employee is doing.
A far better approach is to compare your employees daily duties
to the job descriptions on the ANZSCO, find the most appropriate
occupation, and justify how the employee matches said
Having an understanding of the above factors will not only speed
up the application process, it will supply INZ with the information
they need to make an informed and hopefully favourable
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
October 19th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 22nd round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 45th overall, inviting 1804 applicants for permanent residence, the largest number ever. The lowest CRS score was 475, a decline from the previous draw.
September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)is the category that most people use to apply for residence.
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