Important upcoming changes to New Zealand immigration

Changes are coming to New
Zealand immigration.

The New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) recently announced a number of changes set to come into effect on July 27 that will impact both the temporary and permanent New Zealand visa categories.

The most important of these changes are those set to be made to the List of Skilled Occupations and the Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL). In an effort to have the lists align the revised version of the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), both lists will see:

  • The removal and addition of new occupations;
  • The addition of specialisations within occupations;
  • Occupation title changes;
  • Occupation scope changes; AND
  • The merging of occupations.

What does this mean for my New Zealand visa application?

The changes to the List of Skilled Occupations and LTSSL have the potential to change the eligibility of an applicant for a New Zealand visa, depending on whether their nominated occupation is added or removed from either of the lists.  However NZIS have also made provision in their policy for applicants whose occupation is removed from the LTSSL but have already had their Expression of Interest (EOI) selected from the pool. These applicants will NOT be affected, and they will continue  to be considered as if their occupation had not been removed.

However, what I advise all applicants to do is please remain calm. We are currently in the process of reassessing all our clients, but should you be trying to complete the process without the aid of a licensed immigration advisor, I advise that you take the time to research the changes and get a full and correct understanding of how they will affect you before taking action.

What other changes are coming to New Zealand immigration?

To summarise the other changes coming to New Zealand immigration, we can expect the following further changes to be made on July 27:

  • A new policy called Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) has been established and replaces the Transitioning to Recognised Seasonal Employer (TRSE) policy. As a result, some TRSE changes have been made as a reaction to the introduction of SSE policy. For more detailed information on these changes see the following news item on the NZIS website: 'New seasonal work policy for horticulture and viticulture businesses and amendments to Recognised Seasonal Employer policy'.
  • A special Visitor policy has been introduced for work permit holders who have received a dismissal notice within the 90-day trial period.
  • The Essential Skills work policy has been amended to limit the visa and permit length to one year for lower skilled workers. Additionally, a note has been added to state that self-employment does not meet the Essential Skills policy objectives.
  • All New Zealand working holiday visa holders may now undertake more than one course of study, which must not exceed three months in total during their stay in New Zealand. Working holidaymakers from Canada, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and Taiwan may study more than one course not exceeding six months in total.

- Jodie List is Casework Department Manager for the New Zealand Visa Bureau