From 19 July, Essential Skills Visa holders will be able to apply for a longer visa to remain in their current role.
The Government has decided to extend the maximum duration of an Essential Skills Visa for a job paid below the median wage from 12 to 24 months.
The duration of Essential Skills visas for roles paid the median wage or above will still be up to three years.
From 19 July 2021 until 28 August 2021, applicants need to apply using a paper-based form on the INZ website. From 30 August 2021 applicants will be able to apply online instead.
You will not have to prove there are no New Zealanders available to retain migrant workers in the same roles. You will still need to undergo a labour market test for vacant roles or where your worker will change the region they work for you in.
Applicants remaining in the same role will not need to include an employment agreement with their new Essential Skills visa application. Applicants will not be required to provide medical and police certificates, if these were previously supplied with a visa application.
These measures will make it easier for you to retain your current migrant workforce.
These changes to requirements apply until the middle of next year. An update will be provided as soon as an exact date is confirmed.
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Ahead of the introduction of the Accredited Employer Work Visa system, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is revising its Skills Match Report, which is used for testing our labour market and prioritising New Zealand jobseekers. The revised Skills Match Report will be used from 19 July 2021.
Updating the Skills Match Report ahead of the wider reforms next year will allow employers time to adapt to the new format.
Read more here