The latest changes announced by the Immigration Minister of extension of 18,000 essential skills visas also accompanies with simplification of the “application process.”

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced this morning extension of 18,000 essential skill work visas by an additional one year.

“From Monday 19 July, the maximum duration of Essential Skills visas, for jobs paid below the median wage, will increase from 12 months to 24 months,” Minister Faafoi said.

Additionally, the visa process has also been simplified where workers are already in the role.

“Employers won’t be required to complete a labour market test where a worker is applying for a visa for a full time role which the worker already holds. These applicants also won’t need to provide medical and police certificates to Immigration New Zealand if that information has been supplied previously,” the press release from the office of the Minister Faafoi said.

Labour market test required for filling new roles

A labour market test will still be required where employers are filling a job vacancy to prove there are no New Zealanders available before a migrant worker can be hired. This is in line with the Government’s objective to ensure Kiwis are prioritised for jobs.

Accredited Employer Work Visa delayed

The govt has been planning to bring a new Accredited Employer Work Visa supported by pre-veted employers only by November this year.

That visa was planned to be issued for two years initially, and the government was hoping for essential skill visa holders to apply for that new work visa.

However, now with an extension of essential skill visas, it fears there might be low uptake of the new accredited employer work visa.

Therefore, the government has decided to delay that visa till at least mid next year.