By: Simon Lapthorne and Meilun  Chen, Firm: Kiely Thompson Caisley

Immigration New Zealand has announced changes to the employer-assisted temporary work visa system.

On 17 September 2019, Immigration New Zealand announced a series of changes to the temporary entry work visa framework following a public consultation on the proposed changes.

On 7 October 2019, a number of changes to the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa category will come into effect. These include:

  • Increasing the minimum annual salary from NZD 55,000 to NZD 79,560. The new salary is based on a 40-hour week, or NZD 38.25 per hour.
  • Removal of the option for applicants to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa when they apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa. This option was previously available to applicants who had a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa and earned at least NZD 90,0000 annual salary at the time of their resident visa application.
  • Limiting the amount of time an employer can be accredited to 24 months.

Over the next 18 months, further changes will be introduced in various stages, including (but not limited to) the replacement of six current employer-assisted temporary visa categories with one new visa called Temporary Work Visa and the introduction of a new employer-led visa application process.