Several changes to immigration settings were announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Immigration Michael Wood earlier today.
Straight to Residence pathway
From 15 December 2022, registered nurses and midwives will move from the Work to Residence to the Straight to Residence Green List pathway. All medical doctors will also be included on the Straight to Residence pathway.
From March 2023, auditors will also be added to the Straight to Residence Green List pathway.
Work to Residence pathway
It was also announced that the following professions will be added to the Work to Residence Green List pathway from March 2023:
- Civil construction supervisors
- Skilled crane operators
- Skilled civil machine operators
- Halal slaughterers
- Skilled motor mechanics
- Skilled telecommunications technicians
- All secondary school teachers (in addition to the specialisations already on the Green List)
- Primary school teachers
The Green List will next be reviewed in mid-2023.
Open Work Visa for people unable to use Post Study Visas in 2020–2021
People who held a Post Study Work Visa but were unable to use it due to the border closing in March 2020 will be eligible for a 12-month Open Work Visa if they’re not already in New Zealand on another visa.
Pathway for Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders staying in same role
The government is introducing a streamlined Specific Purpose Work Visa that long-term critical workers can apply for to allow them to continue to work in their current role for up to three years.
The process will be streamlined, so the only employment-related information an applicant needs to provide is a letter from their employer confirming that they remain employed in the same role and on the same (or better) conditions as those that were approved in the Critical Purpose Visitor Visa application.
Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) employer accreditation extension
Employer accreditations under the Accredited Employer Work Visa will automatically be extended by 12 months if their first accreditation is applied for by 4 July 2023.
This one-off extension will provide employers with certainty as we head into 2023 that they will continue to have access to skilled labour without the additional cost and administrative burden of reapplying for accreditation.
Expansion of the accreditation system to cover all migrants, including those with open work rights will be deferred until 2024. The delay will allow Government to progress other priorities like the review of the Skilled Migrant Category and family and partnership immigration settings.
Sector Agreement for bus and truck drivers
Bus and truck drivers will have a time limited residence pathway through a sector agreement. Officials will consult with transport sector representatives in the development of the agreement.