New Zealand has been historically relying on migrants to fill the labour demands and skill shortages. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has been therefore successfully maintaining various visa categories and providing pathways to residence to ensure that the right talent from overseas is attracted to live here either temporarily or permanently in order to maintain the needs of businesses, and keep the economy strong.
However, off late, INZ has been facing significant challenges on multiple fronts, which have become a major political issue considering the impending elections next year.
The trigger probably got self-activated with the changes that came in August 2018 relating to post post-study work rights for students and eligibility of partners of students for work visas, as related to international student visa post-study work rights, which coupled with the closing down of many offshore visa processing offices, the resultant loss of knowledge and cultural intelligence they had, led to inconsistencies and delay in the decision making.
A double whammy came with the spiking staff turnover, new and untrained staff, inordinate delays in student visa and partnership visa processing, the launch of NZeTA, employers accreditation being linked to work visa, confusion in ANZSCO space and the release of new guidance on partnership visas.
All of these issues quickly filled the plate of INZ and since then it has been a story of juggling and creating resources, which is still continuing.
The immigration industry is keenly watching and hoping that the storm that has been created by introducing too many changes in too short a time will settle down next year.
MEET THE TEAM
We are approachable, competent, experienced, efficient, quick, responsive, result-oriented and provide the much needed human touch to our clients.
We care for our clients and do not leave them stranded under any circumstances. In essence, we are with you 24 X 7 as your family would be. Having our base in New Zealand positions us to keep a tab on all the latest developments and changes in real time, and give our clients the most updated information at any given time.
We’re glad to share with you our very first newsletter published in December 2019!
Last but not least, hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy holiday season!
UPCOMING EVENTS IN 2020
We are excited to announce tentative dates of our student & partnership visa seminars to be held in Nepal and Sri Lanka. The seminars are free to register and attend.
- Nepal – Second week of Feb
- Sri Lanka – Third week of Feb
Changes to Culturally arranged marriages visitor visa
The change allows people who have entered into a culturally arranged marriage with a New Zealand citizen/resident, and have had the wedding ceremony outside New Zealand to be eligible for the visa.
INZ has also issued new guidance to clarify that if an individual is travelling to New Zealand to join a partner after a culturally arranged marriage offshore, they may still be considered a genuine visitor visa applicant.
Together, these changes may provide individuals in an arranged marriage who have not lived together, with an opportunity to come to New Zealand on a general visitor visa to visit their partner and live together so that they may later satisfy immigration partnership visa requirements. However, they must meet all general requirements for a visitor including being a bona fide applicant.
Changes to employer-assisted temporary work visa
A number of changes will be introduced over a period of next 18 months by the New Zealand government to ensure that New Zealand employers recruit temporary foreign workers only for genuine shortages.
These changes are designed to make the immigration system more effective, and have increased expectations from employers to employ and train more New Zealanders. The changes will be implemented in stages with most changes coming into effect from mid 2020.
Under these changes, there will only be one type of employer-assisted temporary work visa that foreign workers can apply for and, will require all employers to be accredited.
The new system will remove ANZSCO from the assessment for the Temporary Work Visa and will instead differentiate jobs by their remuneration.
The fees, processing times and evidence that employers and migrants will have to provide in support of their applications are not yet available.
New version of ANZSCO released
The Australian Bureau of Statistics and Statistics New Zealand surprised INZ by unexpectedly releasing an updated version (version 1.3) of Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
INZ in order to align with the changes quickly announced that it will continue to use old ANZSCO (version 1.2) in the assessment of most applications until mid-2020. In mid-2020, INZ will no longer use ANZSCO to assess the skill level of jobs for the Essential Skills Work Visa.
For now in order to cause least disruption for users INZ has decided that occupations that were downgraded in the updated ANZSCO will continue to get the benefit of being considered skilled under the old ANZSCO and, occupations that were upgraded to skill level 1-3 in the updated ANZSCO will be recognised as skilled in Appendix 7.
List of ANZSCO occupations treated as an exception has been published on INZ website. For all other occupations INZ will continue to use old ANZSCO (version 1.2) until mid-2020.
New Student Visa Checklis
Immigration NZ has released a First Time Student Visa Checklist to help people applying. You should check it out as it is a really helpful document. The latest update from INZ strongly recommends students submit their visa application at least 8 weeks before their course starts. This checklist is for people who have not previously been granted a Student Visa (first-time Student Visa applicants) and is designed to support you in applying for your first Student Visa by detailing what information and evidence INZ needs to assess your application.
New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)
In order to bring New Zealand’s border controls in to line with international best practices, (the USA, Canada and Australia already have similar systems in place) INZ has introduced New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA). You need an NZeTA if you’re from a visa-waiver country, and a visitor visa if you are not from a visa waiver country — unless you’re an Australian citizen.
You can use the NZeTA for multiple visits and it lasts for up to 2 years.
Link – About Visa nzeta
Parent Resident Visa
The category will reopen in February 2020. The selection of Expression of Interests (EOIs) will begin in May 2020.
The related Immigration instructions are expected in December 2019. The new criteria include an increase in financial requirements of sponsors.
The expected income threshold of one sponsor for one parent migrating has increased from $65,000 to $106,080, twice the New Zealand median annual income ($53,040).
The new expected income threshold of one sponsor for two parents, or of a sponsor and partner for one parent is now $159,020, three times the New Zealand median annual income.
The total amount of Parent Resident Visas available each year has been limited to 1000.
Change in Pathway Student visa pilot instructions
INZ has announced that the Pathway Student Visa pilot will continue until January 2021 when it will become a permanent visa category.
This category has proved to be a popular one because students can stay on Pathway Student Visa for up to 5 years, and can work part-time up to 20 hours, and full-time in the holidays, depending on the course of study.
INZ has also specified that from January 2021 an education provider to be considered under pathway will be required to have a visa approval rate of at least 80% along with having certain restrictions around study pathways that start with English language study.
Link – kb Question 18817
We are approachable, competent, experienced, efficient, quick, responsive, result-oriented and provide the much needed human touch to our clients. We care for our clients and do not leave them stranded under any circumstances. In essence, we are with you 24 X 7 as your family would be. Having our base in New Zealand positions us to keep a tab on all the latest developments and changes in real time, and give our clients the most updated information at any given time.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
What is Long Term Shortage List?
The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) is a list of skilled occupations that are in sustained shortage all over New Zealand. The list is updated every 6 months and occupations may be removed or added to the list. This list is commonly used when applying for Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and some type of Work Visas.
In the SMC category, for example, you may claim bonus points in your Expression of Interest (EOI) if yourskilled employment, and/or recognised work experienceis on the LTTSL.
THE COURSE OF THE MONTH
Studying for the Master of Cyber Security (MCS) will allow you to develop the skills you’ll need to become a specialist in this area. There’s an increasing international demand for trained cybersecurity professionals, and graduates of this programme help meet the New Zealand Government’s Cyber Security Strategy. This master’s degree is the first of its kind to be offered in New Zealand. When you study MCS you’ll have the opportunity to work with and learn from award-winning cybersecurity experts who have strong international connections with industry and government, such as the National Cyber Policy Office and INTERPOL.