On May 7-2021, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) announced a series of changes, namely;
- Extension of the Minister powers due to Covid until 15-May-2023 and
- Date for the start of the new mandatory employer accreditation (1-Nov-2021) and,
Extension of Minister special powers:
The Government fast-tracked legislation to respond appropriately and efficiently to immigration issues arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. This legislation provided additional powers to the Minister of Immigration for 12 months.
The 2021 Immigration (COVID-19 Response) Amendment Act (new one) has a few differences from its antecesor (the 2020 Immigration (COVID-19 response) Amendment Act).
- These temporary COVID-19 immigration powers have now been extended to 2023.
- The powers are in place until 15 May 2023.
- Offshore temporary visa applications can be suspended for six months, up from three months currently. Renewing less frequently costs less and provides more certainty.
- This bill progressed through Select Committee.
This extension will provide continued flexibility to support migrants and industries, and help to manage border restrictions.
Employer Accreditation changes
- Employers need to be accredited and this process will start on 1 November 2021;
- In the meantime, they can still support visa applications until late September.
- Employers that want to still apply under the current Accreditation processes in place, need to do so by 30 June. Otherwise, they can wait until 1 November 2021 and apply under the new process;
- There will be 2 accreditation types available;
- Standard – for employers who want to employ up to 5 employees;
- High-volume – for employers who want to employ more than 5 employees.
- The employer-led, 3-check system will start on 1 November and includes the following steps;
- Employer check;
- Job check; and
- Migrant check
- You can continue to apply for visas as normal until 31 October 2021;
- The new Accredited employer work visa will start on 1 November, which will replace 6 existing work visa types;