Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Visa Extensions Provide Certainty To Employers And 10,000 Visa Holders

Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced.

Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to help manage ongoing labour shortages while New Zealand’s COVID-19 border restrictions remain in place.

SSE visa holders will also be given open work rights, allowing them to work in any sector.

“This will provide employers with an 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,” Kris Faafoi said.

“We will continue to monitor the border and labour market situations and will extend these visas again if necessary.”

Essential Skills work visas will not be extended again, but the duration of Essential Skills visas for jobs paid below the median wage will increase from six to 12 months taking them back to pre-COVID settings. The implementation of the stand-down period for these jobs will also be further postponed until July 2022.

“These changes will provide more certainty to workers and their employers that workers whose skills are still needed can remain in New Zealand, subject to labour market testing to prove there are no New Zealanders available to fill the role if an employer wants to support a work visa application,” Kris Faafoi said.

“The visa extensions and deferral of the stand-down period are temporary measures and reflect the Government’s commitment to support employers and sectors facing workforce shortages while our border restrictions remain in place.

“This approach is in line with the overall objective of new temporary work visa reforms that are designed to ensure New Zealanders are prioritised for work opportunities.”

Alongside these changes to Essential Skills work visas, from 19 July, visa applications will be assessed against the updated median hourly wage rate of $27. This pay rate will determine whether jobs are treated as higher or lower paid. The wage rate was set following public consultation.

Employers paying under the median wage can still access migrant workers but will need to check with the Ministry of Social Development to see whether a registered job seeker is available.

“The Government recently outlined our long-term vision for New Zealand’s immigration system which will involve sectors making a managed transition to new ways of attracting, training and upskilling Kiwis into jobs and investing in productivity measures that will support New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery.

“We encourage sectors and employers to think about how to make this shift and look for ways to recruit New Zealanders before turning to temporary migrant workers,” Kris Faafoi said.

Immigration New Zealand will contact all visa holders eligible for the Working Holiday or SSE visa extension by 25 June 2021.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The America’s Cup, Critical Race Theory And A New, Weekly Music Playlist

So… Why don’t they just cut to the chase, and call it the Emirates Cup? As this column predicted several months ago, the next America’s Cup challenge is headed overseas. Here’s what Werewolf said back in March:
Emirates has made a major commitment to Portsmouth/Isle of Wight as a sailing centre of excellence – and voila, that’s where the next challenger of record is coming from, and where the next Cup contest could well be sailed. Such incredible luck for Emirates, right..? More>>

 


Government: America’s Cup Decision

The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand... More>>

ALSO:


Government: To Apologize For Dawn Raids

The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s.
Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: EU And UK FTAs Top Of List For First Ministerial Trip Since COVID-19

Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19... More>>



Jewish Council: New Zealand Not Immune From Rise In Antisemitism

The representative body of New Zealand Jewry, the NZ Jewish Council (NZJC), has expressed concern about the high number of antisemitic incidents in New Zealand recorded last month. Spokesperson for the NZJC, Juliet Moses, said... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels