Immigration New Zealand  (INZ) Instruction changes

Immigration New Zealand  (INZ)  Instruction changes

which came into effect as of the 28th August 2017 relate primarily to:

Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)

The points allocation for those aged between 30 to 39 years has increased along with those holding postgraduate qualifications.

Job offers at higher skill levels require an hourly rate of at least $23.49 or at least $35.24 per hour if the role is below ANZSCO skill level 3 or if the role is unable to be defined.   

Points can no longer be claimed for having a New Zealand family member, points connected to identified future growth areas or for a qualification in an area of absolute skills shortage.

 

Essential Skills Work Visa

Work Visa changes hasn’t changed the requirement to prove locals are not available through advertising, interacting with W&I or inclusion on a Immigration New Zealand (INZ) shortage list.

A three tier remuneration band however has been introduced as part of the determination of the new skill level requirements.  A hourly rate of $35.25 and above is considered to be a higher skill level, the range between $19.97 to 35.24 is mid skilled level and under $19.97 is the lower skilled range.

The applicant’s employment background, job offer, training and qualification are now required to be matched to descriptions in the Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

Lower skilled workers are now stricted to a total maximum stay of three years, they won’t be able to bring their families with them and there is no pathway for residence.

Moving Forward

In general terms the criteria for SMC and Essential Skills Work Visas have firmed up making it more difficult for employers to recruit international staff and for potential migrants to gain residence.

Numerous other refinements have been introduced to other categories of policy changing who is eligible.

Whatever your situation the need for professional advice has never been greater.

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Pacific Quota registrations open

Citizens of Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Fiji are encouraged to register for this year’s ballot under the Samoan Quota and Pacific Access Category, which takes place between 3 and 28 April.

Immigration Instructions recognise the special relationship between New Zealand and Samoa and the Pacific Access Category countries of Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Fiji. Each year up to 1100 Samoan citizens, 250 Tongan and Fijian citizens and 75 Kiribati and Tuvaluan citizens are selected by ballot to be considered for the grant of residence in New Zealand.

Eligible citizens of these five countries must be aged between 18 and 45 to register under the ballot. The successful registrants selected from the ballot process will have eight months to lodge their resident visa applications; the principal applicant must also have an acceptable job offer from a New Zealand employer.

Prospective ballot registrants are reminded to make sure that they have the required forms and necessary documents. Only one ballot registration form is needed for each family. Photocopies of birth certificates must also be provided for everyone named on the registration form.

Immigration New Zealand will contact each ballot registrant via a mobile text message or email to acknowledge receipt of their ballot registration form including their Client Registration Number. Ballot registrants will need to hold on to this number to check the status of their registration after the ballots are drawn.

Pacific Access Category quota ballots will be drawn on 9 June and results will be announced on 16 June.

This year the Samoan Quota ballot will be drawn later to manage the significant number of registrations traditionally received. It will be drawn on 30 June and results will be announced on 7 July.

Ballot registration forms and guides

Limited numbers of forms will be available at the INZ offices in Nuku’alofa and Apia.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to register their interest as early as possible.


For further information call 0064 274 422 141 or email:
media@mbie.govt.nz

Interesting facts about New Zealand

New Zealand is fascinating and totally unique in the world. See some of what makes Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) so special.Auckland Maori Tours with TIME Unlimited Tours

Auckland Maori Tours with TIME Unlimited Tours
By TIME Unlimited Tours

Introduction to New Zealand:

  • Original Maori name: Aotearoa
  • Original Maori name for Auckland: Tamaki Makaurau
  • Amazing scenery, fabulous festivals, superb food and wine, and magical outdoor experiences
  • Unique culture, huge range of outdoor activities, very friendly people
  • Over 1/3 of New Zealand is made up of protected parkland and marine reserves
  • Wide variety of scenery, vegetation and geography, opportunities to camp, mountain bike, fish, hike, kayak and so much more
  • NZ is a haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers

Population:

  • 4.5 million inhabitants, of which 1/3 lives in the exciting and most vibrant metropolis: Auckland, which you can check out on  Auckland Tours
  • NZ is multicultural as many Kiwis are either immigrants or their descendants
  • First settlers were the Maori, followed by large numbers of immigrants from the United Kingdom, people from neighbouring Pacific Islands including Samoa and Tonga, Chinese and Korean migrants, and new residents from a wide range of countries such as the US, South Africa, Zimbabwe and India. Check out Maori Tours
  • Modern, secular, democratic society, with no ingrained class system
  • Freedom of speech, expression and religious beliefs are guaranteed by law and widely practiced
  • Favourite sports include rugby, cricket, hiking, kayaking, fishing, white-water rafting, football, basketball and skiing

Weather:

  • Varies greatly throughout the country
  • It could be sunny and warm on the East Coast, while pouring with rain on the West Coast
  • Four seasons in one day is not that unusual
  • For example Auckland has 265 days of sunshine per year
  • Range of temperatures between winter and summer is less extreme than in most countries
  • Maximum temperature during summer ranges between 20-30°C (68-86OF)
  • In winter, the average maximum temperature ranges between 10-15°C (50-59OF). The northern half of the North Island is the warmest part of the country throughout the year, which is perfect for outdoor activities

Best travel times:

  • New Zealand is a popular summer destination, both for overseas and domestic visitors. This is partly due to the fascinating Maori culture, amazing scenery and also the huge success of the films “The Lord of the Rings” and the upcoming “The Hobbit
  • Summer and winter temperatures vary by only 10ºC to 15ºC in most of the country, making New Zealand an ideal holiday destination year-round
  • Best travel times are the warmer high-season months (November to April)
  • Summer (December to February) is the best time for food and wine festivals, concerts and sports events in the main cities like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
  • June to August is skiing high season
  • Similar to Australia, try to avoid school holidays (particularly mid-December to late January) and public holidays if possible
  • The cooler, less touristy ‘shoulder’ periods (October/November and April/May) are  a great time of year to travel
  • You need to be well prepared for all weather conditions when traveling through NZ, as weather can change quickly

Things people might not know about New Zealand:

  • Unlike Australia, New Zealand does not have any dangerous or poisonous animals (with the one tiny exception of the Katipo Spider);
  • In NZ you will hear the word “Kiwi” quite a lot – on the one hand there is the native flightless bird and  the Kiwi Fruit but on the other hand it is also used as a slang term for a New Zealander
  • New Zealand was the first major nation to have universal suffrage – In 1893 it became legal for all male and female citizens of New Zealand to vote
  • New Zealand is one of only three countries that have two official (and of equal standing) national Anthems. The first is God Save the Queen (the English National Anthem) and the other is God Defend New Zealand. The other two countries with two anthems are Denmark and Canada which both have a Royal Anthem and a State anthem.
  • Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world and is also known as “the city of sails”. It has more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world
  • Wellington, the Capital City of New Zealand, is the southernmost capital city in the world
  • New Zealand is a plastic nation – many personal financial transactions are made with a card – credit or otherwise. Most shops offer EFTPOS (similar to the UK Chip and Pin which appeared two years later) and cash is seen less and less. So ensure you bring a credit card to NZ if possible.
  • New Zealand was the last major landmass to be populated (with the exception of the polar regions)
  • Sir Edmund Hillary – the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest (with his climbing partner Tenzing Norgay) was a New Zealander (born in Auckland) and his face is on the New Zealand $5 bill

To experience the very best of Auckland, check out TIME Unlimited Tours, one of New Zealand’s most awarded tourism companies, operating Auckland’s most comprehensive range of high-quality tours.

Immigration soars to another record high

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The big migration trend, which underpins New Zealand’s strong economic growth, shows no sign of letting up.

Numbers for the year to January 31 showed a net migration gain of 71,300.

That’s a record for a 12-month period and the first time in New Zealand’s history the gain has topped 71,000.

It is also, as ASB economist Daniel Snowden points out, a new monthly record, with 6460 net arrivals (seasonally adjusted).

January was the fifth consecutive month above 6000.

Immigration looks set to be a key election issue with the opposition parties having highlighted the affect new arrivals may be having on house prices and other key infrastructure areas such as roads and schools.

The Government, along with many economists, argue strong immigration flows are a measure of the country’s success and contribute positively to the wider economy.

New Zealand’s economy is growing at 3 per cent and a year and is expected to accelerate.

However, on a per capita basis (accounting for the big population gain) growth is more like 1 per cent.

A New Zealand Initiative report released last month concluded that “economic worries about immigration are overblown”.

It argued that migrants’ influence on house prices and unemployment are marginal while the value they add to the Government accounts is, on average, greater than that of citizens.

However, the report did note that a rapid population gain was putting the squeeze on infrastructures, such as roads and schools, and was creating short-term costs.

NZ Herald business editor at large

Immigration soars to another record high

The big migration trend, which underpins New Zealand’s strong economic growth, shows no sign of letting up.

Numbers for the year to January 31 showed a net migration gain of 71,300.

That’s a record for a 12-month period and the first time in New Zealand’s history the gain has topped 71,000.

It is also, as ASB economist Daniel Snowden points out, a new monthly record, with 6460 net arrivals (seasonally adjusted).

January was the fifth consecutive month above 6000.

Immigration looks set to be a key election issue with the opposition parties having highlighted the affect new arrivals may be having on house prices and other key infrastructure areas such as roads and schools.

The Government, along with many economists, argue strong immigration flows are a measure of the country’s success and contribute positively to the wider economy.

New Zealand’s economy is growing at 3 per cent and a year and is expected to accelerate.

However, on a per capita basis (accounting for the big population gain) growth is more like 1 per cent.

A New Zealand Initiative report released last month concluded that “economic worries about immigration are overblown”.

It argued that migrants’ influence on house prices and unemployment are marginal while the value they add to the Government accounts is, on average, greater than that of citizens.

However, the report did note that a rapid population gain was putting the squeeze on infrastructures, such as roads and schools, and was creating short-term costs.

It has also been pointed out that much of the net gain is being driven by New Zealand citizens returning home after living overseas.

But as ASB’s Snowden notes: “Returning Kiwis were not the main driver this month, with a net 385 NZ citizens actually leaving the country.”

“This is in contrast to recent months, where returning New Zealanders were a key driver of rising net migration. However, the slack was taken up by Australian citizens, with a net 633 people choosing NZ over Australia.”

The biggest changes were in arrivals were from China (up 13,200), the United States (up 5,200) and Australia (up 5,200).

Immigration looked set to be a key issue for election year, said Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod.

The public concern about housing costs wasn’t abating, he said, and the Government plan to resolve the issue by building additional houses could take a long time to work.

“We do think that migration could be one option that’s mooted. Particularly as part of post-election coalition discussions.”

“We expect net migration inflows to remain strong for some time, with NZ’s positive economic story, including its labour market, making us a very attractive destination,” Ranchhod said.

– NZ Herald

Clampdown on rogue employers

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has today announced new measures to stop employers who breach immigration and employment law from recruiting migrant workers.

“Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to our workforce and have the same rights as any other worker,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“It is simply unacceptable that those employers who exploit migrant workers are still able to recruit from the international labour market and disadvantage those employers who do the right thing.

“That’s why the Government is introducing stand-down periods during which time employers who flout the law will be banned from recruiting further migrant workers.

“Employers who have incurred an employment standards-related penalty will be banned from recruiting migrant labour for defined stand-down periods ranging from six months to two years, depending on the severity of the case.”

Published guidelines and criteria will ensure that stand-down periods are applied fairly, consistently and transparently.

“Access to the international labour market is a privilege, not a right and if employers abuse that privilege by exploiting migrants or failing to comply with employment law, there will be consequences,” Mr Woodhouse says.

The changes will come into effect on 1 April 2017.

Note to Editors:

  1. The new measures will apply to all employers intending to recruit labour market-tested migrant workers, including employers who are: supporting work visa applications and approvals in principle; seeking accredited employer status or supporting residence class visa applications based on employment; and employers who are part of the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.
  2. Employment standards-related penalties extend from formal infringement notices issued by the Labour Inspectorate (following a Labour Inspectorate investigation) through to penalties issued by the Employment Relations Authority or the Employment Court, a declaration of breach or banning order issued by the Employment Court.  Employers issued with penalties as a result of private actions taken by employees either through the Employment Relations Authority or the Employment Court will also be included.
  3. The threshold for non-compliance would not include employers at the very minor end of breaches, such as those who have entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Labour Inspectorate. These are employers with mostly adequate wage and time records who demonstrate a desire to comply by agreeing with a Labour Inspector to a written undertaking for how and when they will rectify their breaches.
  4. While non-compliant employers would not be eligible to recruit further migrant workers for the duration of their stand-down period, some employers who meet the threshold for non-compliance with employment standards will already have migrant workers in their employment. These employees will be able to work out the duration of their work visa, but will not be granted further work visas to work for the non-compliant employer.

 

 

Essential Skills in Demand List review 2016 – Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has completed its annual review of two of the Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists – the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL). The Ministry regularly reviews the ESID lists to ensure that they meet the changing needs of the labour market, and to ensure opportunities for New Zealanders first.

Long Term Skill Shortage List

The LTSSL identifies occupations that have an absolute (sustained and ongoing) shortage of skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand. Migrants who gain employment in one of these occupations may be granted a work visa under the LTSSL Work to Residence or Essential Skills instructions. Migrants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category may gain bonus points towards their application if they have an offer of employment, work experience or qualifications in an area of absolute skill shortage identified on the LTSSL.

The outcomes of the review of the LTSSL are to:

  • remove the following occupations for which there is no longer a shortage:
    • Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (this has been added to the ISSL for all regions of New Zealand)
    • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
    • Registered Nurse (Medical)
    • Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
    • Ship’s Engineer
    • Ship’s Master
    • Ship’s Officer
  • retain Chef on the LTSSL.

Immediate Skill Shortage List

The ISSL identifies occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers either throughout New Zealand or in certain regions. Migrants wishing to work in occupations on the ISSL may be granted work visas under Essential Skills instructions if they meet the specified qualifications and/or experience requirements.

The outcomes of the review of the ISSL are to:

  • add the following 7 occupations:
    • Bricklayer (a)
    • Cabler (Data and Telecommunications) (c)
    • Composite Technician (c)
    • Floor Finisher (b)
    • Stonemason(a)
    • Telecommunications Cable Jointer (c)
    • Telecommunications Technician (c)

(a) only for the Auckland/Upper North Island region.

(b) only for the Auckland/Upper North Island and Waikato/Bay of Plenty regions.

(c) for all regions of New Zealand

  • remove the following 2 occupations for which there is no longer a shortage:
    • Registered Nurse (Mental Health)
    • Upholsterer

Submissions to move Apiarist from ISSL to the LTSSL have been declined.

Timing of changes

The ESID changes will take effect on 27 February 2017.  Further work is currently being carried out to review the requirements which migrants need to satisfy to apply for a work visa or a residence visa using the skill shortage lists. This includes a review of qualifications in association with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and some other changes to ensure that the requirements for using the lists are appropriate for the shortages.

Effect on Skilled Migrant residence applicants

If you are currently seeking New Zealand residence through the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), the changes to the LTSSL could affect you.

  • If you have an expression of interest in the SMC pool on 27 February 2017, and have claimed points for an occupation or qualification in an area of absolute skills shortage, you should check that you are still eligible for the points you have claimed. The updated LTSSL will apply to your expression of interest.
  • If your expression of interest was selected from the pool before 27 February 2017, or if you have already been invited to apply or have applied under the SMC you will not be affected by these changes.  The LTSSL that was in place before 27 February will apply to your application.

Other immigration options

Removal from a skill shortage list does not mean that migrants cannot come to New Zealand. Other immigration options are available for employers and prospective migrants. These include:

Essential Skills Work Visa policy – (subject to an employer demonstrating that they have tried to recruit New Zealanders for the position and been unsuccessful).
Essential Skills

Accredited Employer – facilitating recruitment of skilled workers from overseas where the salary is at least NZ$55,000 per annum. This option provides a pathway to residence.
Accredited Employer

Approval in Principle – where a number of migrants are being sought.
Approval in Principle

Skilled Migrant Category – under which migrants can apply for residence in New Zealand.
Skilled Migrant Category

The Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub can facilitate employment of New Zealanders in Canterbury, and if there are no suitable applicants, can facilitate visa applications for migrant workers. Also, the Canterbury Skill Shortage List contains some occupations in shortage for the Canterbury rebuild (in addition those on the ISSL and LTSSL).

The Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub

Other matters

The Essential Skills in Demand Lists are reviewed and updated regularly in order to ensure that the Ministry’s policy is flexible and responsive to changing economic and labour market conditions.  As part of reviews, information is gathered from submissions made by external stakeholders and this is considered alongside economic, labour market and immigration data.  It is important that the lists reflect genuine skill shortages so New Zealanders are not disadvantaged in seeking employment and training.

You can test whether an occupation is on any of the three shortage lists or on the list of occupations recognised for residence applications under the Skilled Migrant Category by using the skill shortage list checker. This provides information and the requirements for each of the lists.

Skill shortage list checker

We expect the next ESID review to commence in April 2017.

The latest review of the Canterbury Skill Shortage List in November 2016 resulted in no changes.

Dairying still in need of skilled labour

Southland’s dairy industry continues to be plagued by a lack of skilled workers.DairyNZ recently ran a survey which found farmers were more inclined to employ New Zealand staff, but there was a shortage of skilled workers.

DairyNZ people team leader Jane Muir said there was a strong response to the survey which found farmers had been struggling to recruit good staff locally.

However, at manager level and above, farmers were reporting there was a reasonable pool of New Zealand candidates, with some even noting universityqualified applicants to be very good, she said.

‘‘Farmers also enjoy and value the contribution their migrant staff make to their businesses.’’

In response to the farm owner and manager survey, DairyNZ, in conjunction with Venture Southland, would soon be running a migrant employee survey to better understand the future intentions of migrant staff, Ms Muir said.

The continued issue of the lack of skilled workers in the dairy industry in Southland and wider New Zealand, follows assistant herd managers and herd managers being taken off Immigration New Zealand’s immediate skill shortage list in May last year.

Last year, Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay and former Minister for Ethnic Communities Sam Lotu-Iiga held a meeting in Winton with members of the Filipino community to discuss the issues facing their community.

Since the meeting, Mr Barclay has had many people contact him in regards to their worries about the changes to the immediate skill shortage list.

He continued to pass on the concerns and comments to Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse, he said.

‘‘It’s proved abundantly clear to me, from all of the engagement that I’ve had with farmers and business across the electorate, that we simply don’t have the capacity to fill all of the jobs in Southland with local labour.’’

In Clutha-Southland there were many migrant workers who had been living, working and contributing to their communities for many years, he said.

‘‘We want to provide a pathway for these hardworking, tax-paying workers and their families to longterm settlement, so they can continue living and contributing to our communities. The Government remains committed to implementing a pathway to residence for a limited number of long-term migrants on temporary work visas in the South Island, the details of which are still being worked through.’’

In Southland, the Southland Regional Development Strategy had been launched by all of the region’s councils to attract 10,000 more people to live in the region by 2025.

A key platform of this initiative was to attract more skilled workers to the region, Mr Barclay said.

‘‘I look forward to working further with industry stakeholders to support this. The pathway to residency for eligible migrant workers is going to be incredibly important for our region.’’