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Changes for Partners of Temporary Work Visa Holders

Changes for Partners of Temporary Work Visa Holders

Changes to the Work Rights of Partners under Immigration Rebalance

Immigration Rebalance encourages employers to use the New Zealand labour market instead of relying on migrant workers and partners of temporary migrants to fill lower-skilled, lower paid roles.

Starting 31 May 2023, new visa conditions will be applicable to partners of most Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV) holders needing a partnership-based work visa. They must be –

  • employed by an Accredited Employer
  • their salary must meet the median wage or the wage threshold if the role is covered by an un-capped sector agreement.

The median wage is set at NZD $29.66 on 27 February 2023, although some exceptions exist. For information about AEWV roles exempt from paying the median wage, click here

Visa Options for Partners

Partners of AEWV and ESWV holders can apply for their own work visa or partnership visa based on their relationship with the AEWV or ESWV holder – Partner of a Worker Work Visa.

Partners of a Worker Work Visa applications lodged on or after 31 May 2023 will have to abide by the new visa conditions –

  • Partners making new applications don’t need a job offer to apply.
  • They can change employers without contacting INZ.
  • Visa length will usually be the same as the supporting partner’s visa.

The new changes do not apply to the following

  1. Existing partnership-based work visas holders (until their visa expires)
  2. Partners of migrants working in occupations on the Green List or paid twice the median wage
  3. Partners of New Zealanders
  4. Partners of other temporary visa holders

Sector agreements may have specific requirements.  Also, partners who don’t want to work in New Zealand can apply for Visitor Visas.

All applications must the Partner of a Worker form.

Sector agreements and roles paid below the median wage

  • AEWV holders who are covered by a sector agreement or paid below the median wage will continue to be unable to support a partner.
  • ESWV holders who are also paid below the median wage, or are lower skilled if the application was lodged before 27 July 2020, cannot currently support a partner and will continue to be unable to support a partner under new settings.
  • Partners of Worker Work Visas may work in sector agreements without being subject to a stand-down period but not in capped roles.

Get in touch with Immigration Advisors New Zealand Ltd for assistance with a partnership-based visa. Contact us at [email protected]  or call on +64 09 3790219.

Author Details

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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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