Visa Extensions New Zealand

Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders

The Immigration Minister, Hon Kris Faafoi today announced further visa changes, to help manage the ongoing labour shortages, while New Zealand’s COVID-19 border restrictions remain in place.

These changes will provide employers with some assurance, that they can continue to access the current onshore workforce to help fill roles.

It will also put the minds of visa holders at ease knowing they can stay and work in New Zealand for the foreseeable future.

WHAT IS IT?

  1. Automatic extension of Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) for another 6 months;
  2. Open work rights for SSE visa holders;
  3. Duration of low-paid Essential Skills Work visas will revert to 12 months;
  4. Stand-down period will also be further postponed until July 2022; and
  5. The increase of median wage rate to $27 from 19 July.

Working Holiday visas and SSE

  • Working Holiday visas expiring between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months; 
  • SSE visas expiring between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months and will have open work rights, allowing them to work in any sector;
  • Immigration New Zealand will contact all eligible visa holders by 25 June 2021.
  • Anyone onshore who has previously held a temporary work visa will still be able to apply for a SSE work visa. New visas granted under this category will be restricted to only work in the horticulture and viticulture sectors.

Essential Skills Work Visa

  • No further extensions; and
  • Duration of low-paid Essential Skills Work visas will revert to 12 months;
  • Stand-down period will also be further postponed until July 2022; 
  • The stand-down period requires people on lower-paid Essential Skills work visas to leave New Zealand for 12 months before they can apply for another lower-paid work visa; and
  • The increase of median wage rate to $27 from 19 July.

Increase in median wage rate

  • Increase of median wage rate to $27, from 19 July applies to Essential Skills work visas, residence under the Skilled Migrant Category, and Other Critical Worker border exception category.

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