Work Visa policy changes announced 17 September 2019

New Zealand government yesterday announced a few Work Visa policy changes. Our immigration team has put together a simplified summary of these changes as below.

Please note that it is always a fundamental policy of INZ that no changes will ever

  • effect any visa you currently hold
  • effect your future rights if they are a condition of that visa.

Essential Skills Visa

  • changes announced will not come into effect until some time in 2021
  • more detail will be announced in March 2020
  • if your visa expires before 2021 your renewal will use the same process as now
  • employers will be more affected by changes than workers, but we will not know any detail of that until 2020
  • In 2021 INZ will no longer use ANZSCO to determine the duration of a visa, but the salary level. (Levels not announced yet)
  • Visas will still be 1 year or 3 years (possibly 5 years for very highly paid)
  • Still ‘stand-down’ period after 3 x 1-year visas
  • In future, holders of 1-year visa will be permitted to bring family. (salary conditions likely to apply for dependants)

Work to Residence Visas (Accredited Employer)

  • The salary threshold for approval of that visa will rise from $55,000 to $79,560 from 7 October
  • If you already hold a WTR visa, you are still eligible for residence with $55k salary.
  • It looks like this type of visa will not be issued after 2021, but uncertain.

Residence visa (Skilled Migrant Category)

  • No changes have been announced.
  • It is very likely that INZ will still use ANZSCO to determine skill levels.

For more details of these policy changes please check INZ's website:

Please contact our immigration team if you have more questions or need any support for your visa application.

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