16 December 2022

Further significant Immigration updates

Cavell Leitch


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Key changes recently announced by the Minister of Immigration, and further changes are anticipated.
New Zealand Immigration
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Several updates have been announced by the Minister of Immigration (Minister) on 12 December 2022. This alert summarises key changes.

Automatic Accreditation Renewal for 12 months

All employer accreditations that have been applied for by 4 July 2023, will be automatically extended for a further 12 months. For example if an employer secured accreditation on 9 July 2022 and was approved accreditation on 9 August 2022, the accreditation will now be automatically extended until 9 August 2024, instead of the accreditation expiring on 9 August 2023.

Deferral of Accreditation System ExpansionDeferral of Accreditation System Expansion

The Minister has announced that the expansion of the accreditation system will be deferred until 2024. Initially, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and the government had indicated that Working Holiday Visa holders, partners of Accredited Employer Work Visa holders and other workers holding open work visas would only be able to work for accredited employers. This expansion has been deferred until 2024.

Post Study Work Visa Holders

People who held a Post Study Work Visa but were unable to use it, due to the border closing in March 2020, will be eligible for 12-month open work visa - if they're not already in New Zealand on another visa.

Streamlined Critical Worker Visa Extension

Workers granted a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa will be able to apply for a streamlined 3 year Specific Purpose work visa to allow them to be employed in the same role and with the same (or better) conditions that were approved as part on their Critical Purpose Visitor Visa application.

Green List Changes

Several changes have been announced to the Green List:

  • The following roles will be added to the Tier 1 Green List straight to residence tier:
    • Midwives (on 15 December 2022)
    • Specialist doctors not already on the Green List (on 15 December 2022)
    • Registered Auditors (from March 2023)
    • Registered Nurses (on 15 December 2022)
  • The following roles will be added to the Tier 2 Green List work to residence tier from March 2023:
    • Civil construction supervisors
    • Gasfitters
    • Drain layers
    • Skilled crane operators
    • Skilled civil machine operators
    • Halal slaughterers
    • Skilled motor mechanics
    • Skilled telecommunications technicians
    • All secondary school teachers (in addition to the specialisations already on the Green List)
    • Primary school teachers

Bus and Truck Drivers

Bus and truck drivers will have a time limited residence pathway through a sector agreement.

Active Investor Plus Changes

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has opened applications to allow investment entities to apply for 2x (managed fund) and 3x (direct investment) weighting status. INZ have also indicated that there will be changes to policy that will be implemented. We will release a separate article and alert on these points.

Our thoughts

There continues to be a lot of change in the immigration space. We anticipate further changes as the government will need to provide the finer details of policy to implement what has been announced.

If you need help navigating any of these changes our specialist immigration team would be happy to assist.

This information is current as at 13 December 2022.

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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