INZ Update 30th August 2021 – Processing during lockdown
Current processing of online visa categories
Staff who are home due to the current COVID-19 restrictions and are able to work are processing the following online visa products:
• Border Exceptions
• Essential Skills work visas
• Work to Residence visas
• Partnership visas (temporary and residence)
• Post-study work visas
• Student visas
• Visitor visas
• Section 61 requests
If you are unable to apply online and your visa is about to expire, please contact the ICC to find a solution, or you can contact our team at Visas for NZ to assist you.
Reconsideration process for temporary entry visas
An interim reconsideration process of a temporary entry decision for onshore applicants has been set up during lockdown.
Please note applicants requesting reconsideration via the Immigration Contact Centre must still do so within 14 days.
Request reconsideration | Immigration Contact Centre
Employment Visa Escalations process
INZ continues to monitor Employment Visa Escalation requests however during the current restrictions we are unable to prioritise paper applications.
Make an online request for priority allocation of employment-related visa applications: EmploymentVisaEscalations@mbie.govt.nz
New Essential Skills Work Visa application form online
You are encouraged you to use the new online application form for Essential Skills Work Visas, available from 31 August 2021.
On 19 July 2021, changes were made to Essential Skills visas to streamline application processing and increase visa duration for some workers who are staying with the same employer.
Migrant Exploitation Visa
Employment New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand can help protect migrants from being exploited.
This process is now online – migrants should visit Employment New Zealand to complete the form.
Online Reporting Form | Employment New Zealand
Paper applications not being processed
For information security and privacy reasons, paper applications cannot be removed from the office and cannot be processed at current alert levels. We acknowledge the impact this will have on your clients.
The new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) – this is delayed until mid 2022
– The new policy will be implemented from mid 2022.
– The employers can start lodging applications from late mid 2022.
– The applicants can continue to apply for current visas until 01 November.
– Applications for the current accreditation, Labour Hire accreditation and Approval in Principal will be available until 30 June 2021 and can be used until 31 October 2021.
– Currently accredited employers will need to meet the new requirements under new accreditation policy.
Before hiring a migrant on the AEWV employers will need to:
- apply for accreditation under the new system
- apply for a job check to make sure the role they want to fill cannot be done by New Zealanders, and
- request a migrant worker to apply for a visa.
The migrant will need to meet the skills and experience stipulated as part of the job check.
Single visa replaces 6
The AEWV replaces these 6 work visas:
- Essential Skills Work Visa
- Essential Skills Work Visa — approved in principle
- Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
- Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
- Silver Fern Job Search Visa (closed 7 October 2019)
- Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa.
New system has 3 checks
The system will introduce 3 checks before an employer can hire a migrant worker. These checks are:
- the employer check — employers need accreditation to pass this
- the job check
- the migrant worker check.- The new policy will be implemented from mid 2022.– The employers can start lodging applications from mid 2022. The applicants can continue to apply for current visas until 01 November.- Applications for the current accreditation, Labour Hire accreditation and Approval in Principal will be available until 30 June 2021 and can be used until 31 October 2021.- Currently accredited employers will need to meet the new requirements under new accreditation policy.
9th May 2021
Offshore applications are suspended for a further 3 months
Applications for most temporary visas from people outside of New Zealand are suspended.
The following offshore temporary entry class visa applications can still be made:
- relationship-based visas for partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents
- visa applications made by people invited to apply because they have a critical purpose for being in New Zealand
- visas for diplomatic, consular and official staff and accompanying dependants
- Antarctic Traveller Visitor visas and Antarctic Work visas
- Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited visas.
28th April 2021
Restrictions on travel from very high risk countries
Other travellers, including New Zealand residents, can enter only if they spend 14 days outside a very high risk country before their arrival here. Transit through a very high risk country is excluded from the 14-day requirement.
Selection of EOIs for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and Parent Category still deferred
The continued deferral of these EOI selections allows INZ to focus on processing applications from people who are in New Zealand or those eligible to travel here while border restrictions are in place.