Visa changes | immigration instructions
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Visa changes coming

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The rug is potentially being pulled from out beneath employers and current holders of AEWVs with the announcement of 5-year maximum visa validity which comes into effect on 27 November 2023.

Previously, AEWV holders who were being paid at least the national median wage were able to apply for new AEWVs without a stand-down period applying. However, this now, might not be the case.

From 27 November, all AEWVs issued to workers that are paid at least the national median wage will receive a maximum 5-year validity visa. Those with a current 3-year will be able to obtain a further 2 years without employer’s having to complete a Job Check.

A 12 consecutive month stand-down period will then apply, meaning once an AEWV holder has spent 5 years in NZ, they would need to leave unless they are able to apply for a different type of visa, namely, a resident visa.

At first glance, the new Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) which opens in October this year, will be very difficult, if not impossible, for our migrant workers to meet. Therefore, if they do not have an occupation on the Green List, residency might not be an option.

However, in what can only be described as a completely bizarre move, these new Immigration Instructions released from Immigration NZ came together with a message that claims that those AEWV holders that are on a “recognised pathway to residence” would not be affected by the stand-down period, and that more information will be provided shortly. This completely contradicts the new immigration instructions and is only going to cause more confusion for uses of the immigration system. More details on this message can be found here.

If you need advice or help with New Zealand visas, or are looking to employ skilled migrants, contact us.

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