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New 3-check Work Visa Application Process Being Introduced In Mid 2021

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New Temporary Work Visa System Overview

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is introducing a slew of changes to existing temporary work visa settings. The changes that will come into effect after mid-2021, include a new 3-check visa application system and a new visa that will replace six of the existing temporary work visas.

The new 3-check visa application process will be employer led, which means that before hiring a migrant on this new work visa, employers will need to:

  • apply for accreditation
  • apply for a job check to make sure the role they want to fill cannot be done by New Zealanders, and
  • request a migrant worker to apply for a visa.

While several questions remain unanswered, it is expected that INZ will release further information on the proposed changes in the coming weeks. These changes are being introduced with the intention of streamlining the current work visa system, minimising the potential exploitation of migrant workers, and to ensure more employment opportunities for New Zealanders.

Know The 3-Check Process

Check 1: Employer check – Before hiring any migrant worker, the employer will need to apply for accreditation. This “employer check” will replace three existing employer schemes (other 3 are mentioned below):

  • Accreditation as a Talent Accredited Employer (to be replaced);
  • Approval in principle (AIP) before an employer hires worker on an Essential Skills Work Visa (to be replaced);
  • Labour Hire employers accreditation for Essential Skills Work visas (to be replaced).

There will be two main accreditation levels that employers can apply for – standard accreditation and high-volume accreditation. Both levels will have their own set of criteria.

Check 2: Job check – Before hiring any migrant worker, the employer must demonstrate that the job position that needs to be filled cannot be filled by New Zealanders. Applying for this “job check” will confirm that the job pays the market rate, complies with employment laws, and the employer has done a labour market test if needed.

Check 3: Migrant worker check – This is where the migrant worker will apply for a visa. The migrant applying for the visa must fulfil the basic requirements of character, identity, and health. The migrant worker must prove that they indeed have the skills and/or qualification to fulfil the job they are aiming for. If they meet all the requirements, they will be granted a visa.

Who Are Affected (And Who Aren’t)?

This new employer-assisted work visa will replace six existing work visas: Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa, Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa, Essential Skills Work Visa, Essential Skills Work Visa — approved in principle, Silver Fern Job Search Visa (closed 7 October 2019), Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa.

Please note, however, that this new visa system will not affect or change other temporary work visas such as Specific Purpose Work Visa, Post-study Work Visa, Religious Worker Work Visa, and more.

Confused? Need Help?

If you hold a work visa that is affected by these announced changes and are uncertain about your future in New Zealand or if you are planning to apply for a work visa but are unclear of the process – get in touch with an experienced Licensed Immigration Adviser (LIA). Tap on their expertise to understand this new visa system, how it may affect you, and what steps you need to take. At Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd., we have a team of Licensed Immigration Advisers that has 50+ years of collective experience. Get in touch with us today and talk to one of the experts.

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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