As mentioned in our recent newsletter, many Queenstown employers
and their employees are frustrated by the work visa process in
Queenstown. However, there is some good news.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has listened and has made a change
to its processes. It has temporarily removed the requirement for a
labour market test for some work visa applicants.
What is the change?
INZ has temporarily waived the requirement for employers to
prove that New Zealanders are not available or readily trainable
for certain jobs within the Queenstown region.
The change came into effect on 19 February 2015. It will be in
place until 30 June 2015.
Does the waiver apply to every visa applicant?
No. The change only applies to applicants whose jobs are at
skill level 1, 2 or 3 on the Australia and New Zealand Standard
Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) list, or whose jobs are
included within the Ministry of Social Development's Queenstown
2014/15 Labour Market Check exemption list.
ANZSCO descriptions can be searched
here. Each ANZSCO description confirms the relevant job's
The Ministry of Social Development's exemption list can be
The job must also be within the Queenstown region. The job is
deemed to be within the Queenstown region if the principle place of
work is within the territorial authority of the Queenstown Lakes
What if the job doesn't meet those two conditions?
If the job is at skill level 4 or 5 on the ANZSCO and is not
included in the Labour Market Check exemption list, then the
employer must show that it has genuinely tried to find a New
Zealander for the job, but that none are available or readily
In most cases, this will mean that the employer needs to work
with WINZ to advertise the job. WINZ will provide the employer with
a letter confirming whether or not the vacancy can be filled, and
this letter should be included with the work visa application.
However, as long as the job is within the Queenstown region, the
employer is not required to advertise nationally.
If the job is not within the Queenstown region, then full labour
market testing must be undertaken. This means advertising the
position nationally as well as working with WINZ.
Does the applicant need to meet other visa requirements?
Yes, it is important to remember that all other visa
requirements still apply.
This means that employees must meet the health requirements for
the grant of a visa. Therefore, an employee may need to have
medical certificates completed to submit with the application.
Employees also need to meet good character requirements which
means an employee may need to obtain police clearance certificates
to submit with his or her visa application.
Finally, an employee must still prove that he or she has the
necessary work experience or qualification to do the job in
question. Exactly what work experience or qualifications he or she
needs to prove will depend on the ANZSCO that most closely matches
his or her job.
Will the waiver continue after 30 June 2015?
There is no news from INZ as yet about if the waiver will
continue after 30 June 2015.At this stage, the waiver is a one-off
temporary change to the policy.
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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