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Here's what you don't know about the latest immigration updates on work visa changes

A. From 19 July 2021, changes made to Essential Skills visas include the following:


· Essential skills work visas for jobs paid below $27 (median wage) will be granted a visa for 2 years rather than a year.

· Not required to provide the medicals and police certificates if these have been provided to INZ along with a previous visa application, regardless of the validity.

· No labour market test (including a Skills Match Report) is required if the applicant is continuing their current full-time employment in the same role, same employer or same region.


These changes are applicable to the following visa holders:

· Any type of work visa (including a Working Holiday Visa)

· A student visa that has unlimited work rights (i.e., to study Masters or PhD degree)

· A Critical Purpose visitor visa granted as a critical health worker or granted for more than six months as an ‘other critical worker’.



B. From 5 August 2021 onwards changes made to work visa applications of partners and dependent children of Essential Skills work visa holders or applicants includes:

· Not required to provide the medicals and police certificates if these have been provided to INZ along with a previous visa application, regardless of the validity.

· However, new medicals or police certificates which you have already obtained for your visa application, can be submitted.


C. Changes made for migrant workers working in supermarkets in New Zealand during alert levels 3 and 4.


· From 20 August 2021 to 31 December 2023 (inclusive), the definition of “work” in the immigration instructions is amended to include the following:

· any tasks associated with the supply of goods to, from, or within a supermarket that is operating in a region under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 or 4 undertaken by a student or work visa holder, or interim visa holder (who held a student or work visa immediately prior to the interim visa), who was an employee of that supermarket on the day immediately prior to the region entering Alert Level 3 or 4.