The next stage of the changes the Government announced last year to the employer assisted temporary work visa system are coming into effect on 27 July 2020.
This latest change relates to Essential Skills Work Visas – the current system of using a combination of ANZSCO and salary to assess skill level is being replaced with a simple remuneration threshold, aligned to the national median wage calculated by Statistics NZ.
Remuneration will be used to determine the following for an Essential Skills work visa application:
- whether an employer needs to engage with The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in order to meet the labour market test
- the maximum duration of the visa – the key change is that if you as an employer aren’t paying your migrant workers at least the median wage ($25.50 per hour), they will only be eligible for a 6 month work visa for the next 18 months or a 1 year visa from January 2022 onwards. If they’re paid at or above the median wage, they’ll get a 3 year visa.
- whether the person holding the visa can support a partnership based work visa to bring family with them to New Zealand (although, anyone offshore will be subject to the border restrictions currently in place).
Here’s a simple table showing how the above will be determined:
|Below median wage (currently $25.50 per hour)||At or above the median wage (currently $25.50 per hour)|
|Labour market test||Employer must engage with MSD and provide a Skills Match Report||Employer does not need to engage with MSD to provide a Skills Match Report but must continue to make genuine attempts to hire New Zealanders, including advertising for the role and considering New Zealanders|
|Visa duration||Maximum duration of each visa is 6 months for the next 18 months (i.e. from 10 July 2020 – 10 January 2022).
Maximum combined duration of all work visas is 3 years at which time holders of this visa will be subject to a stand down period of 12 months.
|Maximum duration of each visa is 3 years
No maximum combined duration – not subject to stand down.
|Bringing family who ordinarily reside in New Zealand. Note that anyone currently offshore will be subject to the border restrictions currently in place.||Support visitor visas for partners (partners can apply for a work visa in their own right)
Support visitor or student visas for dependent children (subject to meeting the minimum income threshold)
|Support visitor or work visas for partners
Support visitor or student visas for dependent children (subject to meeting minimum income threshold)
Feel free to get in touch with one of our team if you have any questions about how these changes might affect your or your client’s business and staff.