Changes to temporary work visas
NZ Immigration Specialist

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Changes to employer processes and visas

Over the next 18 months, INZ will be bringing in changes that affect some employers and the migrant workers they employ. These include:

  • introducing a new employer-led visa application process that will involve 3 stages — the employer check, the job check and the worker check
  • a new temporary work visa that replaces 6 temporary work visas
  • classifying jobs as low- or high-paid based on whether they are paid above or below the median New Zealand wage, instead of using a combination of the ANZSCO Version 1.2 | Australian Bureau of Statistics

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The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand.

If you get a job in an occupation on the LTSSL and meet the list requirements, you may be granted a Work to Residence visa under the Long Term Skill Shortage List work visa. This means that you may be eligible to apply for residence in two years, provided you meet standard requirements and that job has a base salary of at least NZ$45,000.

Link: https://skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz/

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From 24 February 2020, SMC applicants must be paid NZD $25.50 or more per hour (or the equivalent annual salary) to be awarded points for skilled employment.

For example, minimum salaries for occupations at ANZSCO skill levels 1 to 3 must be:

  • NZD $39,780 a year based on a 30-hour work week
  • NZD $46,410 a year based on a 35-hour work week
  • NZD $53,040 a year based on a 40-hour work week.

Between 26 November 2018 and 23 February 2020 applicants must be paid NZD $25.00 or more per hour (or the equivalent annual salary).

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New financial requirements

The new financial requirements for the Parent Resident Visa can only be met through the income of the sponsor and their partner.

Here is a comparison of the previous and the new financial requirements, based on a median salary of NZD $53,040:

Sponsor Previous New (expected income thresholds)
1 sponsor for 1 parent (sponsor’s income) NZD $65,000 NZD $106,080 2 times the median salary
1 sponsor for 2 parents (sponsor’s income) NZD $65,000 NZD $159,120 3 times the median salary
Sponsor and partner  for 1 parent  (joint income) NZD $90,000 NZD $159,120 3 times the median salary
Sponsor and partner for 2 parents  (joint  income) NZD $90,000 NZD $212,160 4 times the median salary
Guaranteed lifetime income of 1 applicant or of a couple NZD $28,166 or
NZD $41,494
Not available in new parent category
Settlement funds NZD $500,000 Not available in new parent category