The clock is ticking closer for the much talked about changes to the work visa. Due to its complexity and the lack of sufficient information, there is a lot of confusion and anxiety amongst current work visa holders who will be planning to apply for their closed work visas soon this year.

Many who are lucky enough to be supported by their employers have preponed their plans to apply for their Essential Skills Work Visa under the current settings.

Our firm has seen a huge surge in the number of work visa inquiries in the last two months, and we completely understand the degree of panic and mood the work visa holders have.

Time will tell by what factor these changes played a role in solving problems that the immigration intended. But in the interim, what we are concerned about is how the INZ plans to execute the operational aspects as we advance?

They already have an overwhelming backlog in many visa categories, not to mention the lack of specific details on how and what an employer can do (especially the employers who have never gone through the current accreditation process) to prepare, which has a potential to chock up the system risking migrant’s future as well as impacting businesses negatively.

As a lot of you may know the immigration will be bringing in three points process with the new changes: 

1) Accreditation

2) Job Check

3) and a Worker check 

At this point, there is not much clarity on whether these processes can be simultaneously executed or will have to be done one after the other. In the latter situation, consider a scenario where the applicant is not even able to apply because the employer hasn’t yet gone past the first two checkpoints. It can result in a dire situation, especially for work visa holders whose visas may expire soon. 

We don’t like to speculate on whether these changes will do any significant good, it is a matter of testing and improvising over time, but one thing we hope the immigration does in the coming days is to stay clearly communicated by laying out specific details for each stakeholder involved in the game on time.

What immigration is bringing is huge, and we only hope that we all are kept in the loop and offered the information necessary to prepare employers and applicants on time.

So far, here is some handy information offered by the INZ. Many important details are still unknown as of this point, and we are committed to share and educate everyone involved as it becomes available.

1. Accreditation Requirements (relevant for employers)

(Source: Immigration New Zealand)

2. Job Check (relevant for employers)

(Source: Immigration New Zealand)

The difference between streamlined labour market test and strengthened labour market test we believe is that the latter will require the employers to post an ad and check with the Ministry of Social Development whether they have any clients who are considered suitable. Another point we know the employers will be required to do when posting an ad is to advertise the job with the pay rates. 

3. The Worker Check (relevant for applicants)


(Source: Immigration New Zealand)

Samip Shah is a Licensed Immigration Adviser at the Aussizz Group