In the current labour market many industries find it difficult
(or impossible) to recruit suitably qualified and experienced local
staff. Therefore, quite understandably, they recruit from outside
of New Zealand. In most cases with the assistance of a good
licensed immigration advisor or a specialist lawyer, it is fairly
simple to support a new or existing employee in obtaining the
required work visa.
Unfortunately there can often be employment relationship issues
with work visa employees due to the temporary nature of their
permission to work. Also, what is expected under employment law
often seems to directly contradict employers' immigration
Employee convicted of criminal offence and needs visa
help – how can you assist?
At Cavell Leitch we have assisted a number of employers who have
had a work visa employee convicted of drink-driving. Any foreign
national on a work visa may be deemed ineligible for the grant of a
further visa if he or she is convicted of drink-driving or any
number of other offences. In one particular case, the employee
approached the employer asking for assistance and also requested a
character reference to present to Immigration New Zealand to argue
for the grant of the visa. What was the employer to do?
As the employer wanted to support the employee, we recommended
that we provide both the employer and the employee with
professional immigration advice. A good advisor can assist both the
employer and the employee in explaining the full situation to
Immigration New Zealand and presenting a case as to why the
employee's circumstances justify an exception. This approach
gave the employee the best chance of having his or her visa
approved and the employer the best chance of retaining that valued
worker. In this case, the visa was approved.
Ideally, as an employer you should have a policy in place (or a
term in your employment agreement) that requires your employees to
advise you, in good time, if they are charged with or convicted of
an offence. There is an argument that an employee should advise you
of a conviction anyway, if he or she is acting in good faith.
However, a policy (or a contractual term) will make that
requirement absolutely clear and hopefully ensure that a work visa
employee advises you of any conviction well before his or her visa
is set to expire. This will enable you to make arrangements to
support the employee through the visa process and arrange back-up
cover if the work visa is not approved.
If you become aware that one of your employees has been
convicted of an offence that he or she has not disclosed (whether
or not you have a policy requiring an employee to advise you of a
criminal charge or conviction), you should formally raise your
concerns and provide an opportunity to respond before deciding to
terminate the employment. The Employment Relations Authority's
criticism of employers almost always focuses on failures by
employers to follow this fundamental step.
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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