On 1 July 2015 several immigration policy changes will come into
force. These changes are good news for our clients who are
recruiting or employing migrants.
What are the changes?
Longer work visas for lower-skilled roles in Canterbury;
The ability to change employers within Canterbury; and
An accreditation scheme for labour-hire companies.
Who will be getting longer work visas?
Migrants working in what are considered to be lower-skilled
roles will now be able to obtain three year work visas. This is as
long as they submit their applications between 1 July 2015 and 31
Lower-skilled roles are defined as Level 4 or 5 on the Australia
and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
For example, construction labourers and caregivers.
At the moment, a migrant working in a lower-skilled job is only
given a one year essential skills work visa. This means visa
holders have to complete new visa forms and pay an application fee
of $270 every 12 months. It also means that employers are having to
advertise the jobs every 12 months. The costs quickly add up!
Therefore an increase to three year visas will make it easier and
cheaper for both employers and their employees.
How will migrants be able to change employers?
From 1 July 2015, Immigration New Zealand will not specify the
name of the employer when issuing essential skills work visas. This
means that migrants will be able to work for any employer, as long
as the job is Canterbury and it is the same occupation as on the
Migrants who had their essential skills work visa issued before
1 July will be able to apply to have the employer removed from
their visa. The migrants can to move to work for another employer,
as long as it is Canterbury and in the same occupation.
There must be a catch?
Employers and migrants need to be careful that the new job is in
the same occupation as the one for which the work visa was
This can be tricky, as a migrant may change employers for a
higher and better paid job. This may mean that the occupation is
not the same.
You can check the occupation using the
ANZSCO descriptions or you are most welcome to phone us on +64
3 335 3480.
What is the new scheme for the accreditation of labour hire
It will be mandatory for labour hire companies employing
migrants within the construction sector in Canterbury to have
accreditation by 1 January 2016. Labour hire companies in other
sectors, and elsewhere around New Zealand, may also become
accredited but it is not mandatory.
Those that are accredited will be able to obtain three year
visas for their migrant employees, including those with
To obtain accreditation, the companies must show a commitment to
training and employing New Zealanders, as well as good workplace
practices. Therefore, a successful application will need proof of
thorough human resources policies, evidence of checking and
tracking all employees' lawful ability to work, as well as
evidence of sound health and safety policies and also employment
This is reassuring for our clients who are or who work with
recruitment agencies and labour hire companies. The labour hire
companies, the businesses who use them, and the migrants working
for them, will have further reassurance as to each accredited
company's good employment practices and immigration
Can a labour hire company get help with the accreditation
Yes. Our Immigration Team specialises in assisting employers and
their employees in all aspects of immigration, including
accreditation. We can check your workplace practices and policies,
including helping with your systems to check employees are working
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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