UPDATE – ESSENTIAL SKILLS WORK VISA
Several of our clients have received letters from Immigration New Zealand regarding their Essential Skills Work Visa applications, requiring them to redo the “labour market test” to prove the unavailability of New Zealand workers for the position.
Your employer may be asked to confirm:
• Whether the job offer is still open to the applicant;
• Whether the terms and conditions of employment remain the same (eg. pay, hours of work)
• Whether the company has made anyone redundant or undergone redundancy consultations.
With respect to the “labour market test”, remember that the employer is expected to show that they want to recruit a New Zealander, and are hiring a migrant as a last resort. INZ will not accept an employer who simply wants to hire a migrant out of preference for that person.
If being asked by Immigration New Zealand to provide further evidence to show genuine attempts to show genuine attempts at recruiting kiwi workers, your employer should:
➤ Obtain a Skills Match Report from Work and Income for ANZSCO Level 4-5 positions
➤ Post new advertising for the position, and keep clear and accurate records of anyone who applies for the position (not compulsory, but highly recommended unless you can provide strong evidence in other ways)
➤ A letter from the employer explaining:
• Continued recent efforts to recruit New Zealanders (including during the lockdown period, if any)
• Why no new Zealanders are available
• The special skills needed for the job (employers may use their specialised knowledge of their particular industry to impress the case officer that ANZSCO alone is not a sufficient basis to judge the occupation’s skill level)
• Why no New Zealanders can be trained (extremely important for ANZSCO Skill Level 5 occupations!!! All employers are expected to make attempts to train unqualified workers for these positions.)
➤ Seek advice from industry bodies where available, eg. unions and professional associations
Do keep in mind that at a time when New Zealand’s unemployment rate is skyrocketing, any position offered to a non-New Zealander will attract extra scrutiny. It’s nothing to panic about, since skills shortages exist even during periods of high unemployment. However, do take extra care in preparing a strong application.
We highly recommend seeking professional help for Essential Skills Work Visas going forward in these troubled times.
Best of luck to all – keep safe, and keep yourselves employable!
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