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Breaching NZ Work Visa Conditions and their Impact

Work Visa

What do visa conditions mean?

When a visa is issued, certain conditions are imposed on the visa holder which they have to abide by. Depending on the type of visa issued, the conditions imposed could include, the right to work, the right to study, visa extension rights etc. In simple words, visa conditions are limitations to the things one can and cannot do when holding a particular visa.

What does breaching visa conditions mean?

Breaching visa conditions simply means breaking or not following the conditions mentioned on the visa. This is done sometimes out of ignorance but often it is intentional. Breaching visa conditions can have serious consequences for the visa holder and sometimes for others as well (e.g. the employer)

New Zealand Work Visas

Every year, hundreds of migrants are issued work visas that permit them to work & live in New Zealand. New Zealand work visas generally have certain conditions attached to them like:

  • Working for a particular employer
  • The location of work
  • The role/ position of the visa holder

Post-Study Work Visas, partnership-based work visas and Working Holiday Visas are open work visas that do not have specific work conditions attached to them as they allow you to work for any employer in any location. Employer-assisted work visas like the Essential Skills Work Visa/Accredited Employer Work Visa, Specific Purpose Work Visa, Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa, Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa, Religious Work Visa etc have one or more restrictions attached to them like which employer you can work for, which location you can work in, the role you can carry out etc. Not abiding by any of the conditions results in a breach of the visa conditions.

Many times, Interim Visas (issued between the expiry of one visa and getting a decision on the next visa) have visitor visa conditions instead of work visa conditions attached to them that prevent migrants from working. Often, the migrant worker and the employer do not realize this leading to a breach of visa conditions.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) takes breaching of visa conditions very seriously. The impact of breaching New Zealand work visa conditions falls on both the visa holder (i.e. the employee) and the employer.

Impact of breaching NZ work visa conditions on the employees

Not working for a particular employer or in a particular location or in a particular role, whether intentionally or accidentally, is considered a breach of work visa conditions by INZ. The migrant worker then becomes liable for deportation. This may also impact any future visa applications of the migrant as there would be concerns regarding him/her being a bona fide applicant due to his adverse immigration record.

Impact of breaching NZ work visa conditions on the employers

A migrant worker breaching visa conditions may also prevent his/her employer from hiring migrant workers in the future. As per New Zealand’s immigration instructions, an employer must have a good compliance record. If an employee breaches the employment laws, INZ may raise a concern against that employer.

Employers who do not have a history of compliance i.e. who continue to breach the employment law/visa conditions, are included in the non-compliant employers’ list by the Labour Inspectorate. They may face a problem when supporting other NZ work visa applications.

Change in Visa conditions

It is important to note that if a migrant worker’s circumstances change (E.g. change in employer or work location), their visa may become invalid. In such cases, it is important to inform INZ about the change in circumstances and, if required, apply for a Variation of Condition to prevent any breach of the visa conditions.

Breaching visa conditions must be avoided at all costs. The onus is on both the employee and the employer to ensure that the visa conditions are always adhered to.

Get in touch with Immigration Advisors New Zealand Ltd, which provides up-to-date immigration information so you can consider opportunities and prepare yourself for the future. To know all the required procedures, contact us at [email protected] or call on +64 09 3790219.

Author Details

immigration consultant hamilton

Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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