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 79,560 a 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 a 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.

Our Advice

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.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to New Zealand, please email us at enquiries@newlandchase.com