visa advisers immigration breaking news

Immigration News announced on 7-May-2021

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 

For employers

  1. Employers need to be accredited and this process will start on 1 November 2021;
  2. In the meantime, they can still support visa applications until late September.
  3. 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;
  4. There will be 2 accreditation types available;
    1. Standard – for employers who want to employ up to 5 employees;
    2. High-volume – for employers who want to employ more than 5 employees.
  5. The employer-led, 3-check system will start on 1 November and includes the following steps;
    1. Employer check;
    2. Job check; and
    3. Migrant check

For employees:

  1. You can continue to apply for visas as normal until 31 October 2021;
  2. The new Accredited employer work visa will start on 1 November, which will replace 6 existing work visa types;