NEW ZEALAND: Changes to Accredited Employer Framework
Effective 7 October 2019, the New Zealand government has announced significant changes to the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa.
Below, we examine the key changes.
Increasing the Minimum Salary
- As a migrant, the minimum salary needed to apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa will increase from NZD 55,000 to NZD 79,560 per year.
- The new salary applies to all Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa applications received from 7 October 2019, regardless of when the employer became accredited.
- The salary threshold was last updated in 2008. The new threshold is 150% of the current New Zealand median salary and will be updated each year in line with the median income.
- The new salary is based on a 40 hour week, or NZD 38.25 per hour. If the job is for more than 40 hours a week, the employee must be paid at least NZD 38.25 an hour.
- If the salary will be under NZD 79,560 from the 7 October 2019, the employee can apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa instead.
Removing the Option to get a Permanent Resident Visa
- From 7 October 2019, employees who do not have a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa or a current application for one will no longer be able to get a Permanent Resident Visa if they apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa.
- Currently, Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa holders who earn NZD 90,000 or more per year can apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa and get a Permanent Resident Visa.
- Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa holders can still apply for a Permanent Resident Visa later.
Limiting Employer Accreditation to 24 Months
- From 7 October 2019, employers who apply for accreditation can only be accredited for two years before they have to reapply (rather than five years as currently).
- This limit is to allow for some changes Immigration New Zealand is making to the way employers recruit migrant workers.
- Currently-accredited employers will not be affected.
Who Will be Impacted?
- Accredited employers looking to support employees through the work to residence visa pathway.
- Employers who wish to apply for accreditation.
- Individuals working for accredited employers who earn at least NZD 55,000 but have not yet applied for a work to residence visa.
- Individuals earning between NZD 55,000 and NZD 79,560 who have not yet applied for a work to residence visa are advised to do so by 6 October 2019.
- Employers wishing to apply for accreditation are advised to do so by 6 October 2019 to obtain accreditation for more than two years.
- Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.