As NZ moves into Alert Level 2 today, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has just issued a further update about its visa processing operations.

INZ’s visa processing capacity continues to grow (from 70% yesterday) and will now start to process Residence and Essential Skills Work Visa applications for on-shore applicants.

A key announcement is in respect of INZ’s processing of Essential Skills Work Visa applications. If you’re a NZ employer supporting an Essential Skills Work Visa application which was lodged pre- COVID-19 lock down, in view of the impact that lock down has had on New Zealand’s economy and job market, you may be required to provide to INZ fresh evidence to show there are no New Zealanders available to do the work offered. This might include re-advertising the position to re-test the local labour market. I’d be recommending employers in this situation start to consider now what evidence they might be able to provide if requested.