fbpx
Provide All Relevant Information - Visa Assessment Form
immigration lawyer nz

NZ Border Reopening, Recent Changes affecting Work, Visitor & Student Visas & Other Updates

NZ Border Reopening, Recent Changes affecting Work, Visitor & Student Visas & Other Updates

After being almost completely shut to the outside world since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic over two years ago, New Zealand is ready to completely reopen it borders to everyone from midnight of 31 July 2022 (technically 1 August 2022).

Important Dates:

  • 4 July 2022 – All work visa categories including the new Accredited Employer Work Visa will open for applications
  • 31 July 2022 midnight – Applications for student & visitor visas and maritime borders will reopen

The New Zealand Government is trying to rebalance the immigration system in order to support a more productive higher-wage economy. This will give employers more access to skilled workers, allow international students & visitors to enter New Zealand and permit reunions.

Work Visas

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

  • 3 July 2022 – Essential Skills Work Visa closes to applications
  • 4 July 2022 – Accredited Employer Work Visa will open for applications
  • December 2022 – Partners of temporary migrant workers can apply for a Visitor visa or an AEWV if they want to work in New Zealand

The AEWV will be available mainly to workers earning over the median wage of NZ $27.76 per hour 4 July onwards.

By 2023, the NZ Government wants all employers to be accredited to hire migrant workers, even those with openwork rights (Eg. working holidaymakers and students)

Sector Arrangements
The NZ Government has introduced a Green List. This list will make it easier for employers to hire and attract migrants for high-skilled, hard-to-fill positions in the construction, engineering, trades, health and ICT sectors.

If an employer who wants to hire migrant workers on the AEWV and the role is on this list, then advertising for the job check is not required.

There are certain transition arrangements that will allow certain roles in the construction, care, tourism & hospitality sectors to be recruited at rates slightly lower than the median wage.

  • For Green List Occupations, please click here
  • For roles exempt from AEWV median wage threshold, please click here

Open Work Visas

On 9 May 2022, a special direction granted open work visas to those migrants already in New Zealand holding one of the following visas expiring between 9 May & 31 December 2022 (inclusive):

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Post Study Work Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa
  • Eligible Ukrainian nationals granted a temporary work visa on 10 March 2022

The new open work visa:

  • This visa is valid from 9 May 2022 until two years from the visa expiry date of the previous visa
  • It will allow the migrant to work for any employer anywhere in New Zealand and
  • It will allow the holder to leave & re-enter New Zealand

Family/ Dependants:
New visas have been granted to the partners and dependent children of the new open work visa holder.

To be eligible for this visa, the family must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a visa based on their relationship with the work visa holder whose visa expired between 9 May & 31 December 2022 (inclusive) and
  • Have been in New Zealand on 9 May 2022

Like the principal applicant, the visa will be valid from 9 May 2022 until two years from the visa expiry date. Also, the dependent family members who held work, student or visitor visas based on their relationship with the principal applicant will be granted the same type of visa.

Work to Residence Visa

On 9 May 2022, INZ extended the following work to residence visas by 6 months which were expiring between 9 May & 31 December 2022 under a special direction:

  • Talent (Accredited Employer)
  • Talent (Arts, Culture & Sports)
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List
  • Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Visa
  • South Island Contribution

The visas have been extended for 6 months from the date of expiry of the previous visa

Family/ Dependants:

Visas of partners & dependent children expiring between 9 May & 31 December 2022 (inclusive) have also been extended by 6 months.

To be eligible for this visa, the family must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a visa based on their relationship with the work visa holder and
  • Have been in New Zealand on 9 May 2022

Visa Conditions & Cost

Visa conditions, including those that have been varied, remain the same.
The visa holder is not charged for the visa extension.

  • For changing the conditions of a temporary visa, please click here.

Online Records
INZ will email the eligible visa holders by the end of May 2022. Online records of the new visas & extensions will be updated by 25 May 2022.
For information about the Visa Verification Service, please click here

2021 Resident Visa applications

Those granted a new visa by the 9 May Special Direction can apply for the 2021 Resident visa if the visa they held before was eligible.

  • To check your eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa, click here

Working Holiday Schemes

Besides the border reopening date, the NZ Government has also brought forward the opening date of the following Working Holiday Schemes:

  • South Korea: 10 May 2022 (previously 17 May)
  • China: 19 May 2022 (previously 30 June)
  • Taiwan: 25 May 2022 (previously 23 June)
  • Argentina: 26 May 2022 (previously 30 August)
  • Chile: 31 May 2022 (previously 6 September)

The opening date of the following Working Holiday Schemes has been pushed back:

  • Luxembourg: 17 May 2022 (previously 10 May)
  • Czech Republic: 2 June 2022 (previously 31 May)
  • For information about Working Holiday Visas, please click here

Visitor Visas

Pacific Visitor Visas

Countries in the Pacific Islands Forum include:
Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Naru, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

16 May 2022 – Online applications for visitors from the Pacific Islands Forum reopens.

Visitor Visa applications are already open for Cook Islands & Niue.

Unlike before, applications from the Pacific will now have to apply online visa Immigration Online. To be granted a Visitor Visa, applicants must be able to prove their genuine intent of travel to New Zealand

Maritime Borders
New Zealand’s maritime border will also reopen on 31 July 2022, in line with the air border. Pre-departure covid tests & vaccination will be required for passengers & crew.

Students

As part of Immigration rebalance, policies have been changed to ensure that students who continue to stay in New Zealand after their studies fill the skill shortages.

  • Changes have been made to post-study work visa duration.
  • The funds required for Student Visa applications to support their stay in New Zealand has gone up.

Travel Updates

In order to travel to New Zealand, non-New Zealand citizens must hold a valid visa or New Zealand electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).

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 contact@nzimmigration.info or call on +64 09 3790219.

Author Details

immigration consultant hamilton

Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)
Director

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.

Green List

Roles and Occupations

Enquire Now ×
G
R
E
E
N

L
I
S
T