US

Sep 20 2019

Minimum Salary Increase and Category Limitations for Talent Work Visas Forthcoming

New Zealand

At a Glance

The government will implement the following changes to the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa scheme, a visa only available to accredited employers:

  • The salary threshold will be increased from NZD 55,000 to NZD 79,560;
  • The duration of accreditation for employers under this scheme will be limited to 24 months; and
  • Permanent Resident Visas for Talent Work Visa holders will no longer be available - only Resident Visas will be available under this scheme.

 

The changes are effective October 7, 2019.


The situation

The government has implemented an increased minimum salary level and added certain limitations to the Talent Work (Accredited Employer) Visa scheme

A closer look

Change Impact

The salary threshold will be increased from NZD 55,000 to NZD 79,560.

Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew a Talent Work Visa on or after October 7 will need to increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be rejected.

Existing employees and those with pending applications as of this date are unaffected by the change.

The duration of accreditation for employers under this scheme has been limited to 24 months (from up to five years).

Employers will need to apply for accreditation extensions every 24 months, resulting in extra costs and document gathering time.

Permanent Resident Visas for Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa holders will no longer be available.

Foreign nationals who do not hold a Talent (Accredited) Employer Work Visa or have a pending application for one as of October 7 will no longer be able to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa if they apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa and will need to find a new path for permanent residency in New Zealand.

 

Background

The Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa is an option available for foreign workers who will work for an employer that meets certain accreditation standards. The visa allows foreign nationals to work for the specific accredited employer detailed in the job offer that was the basis of their work visa application for up to 30 months.

The limits imposed by the new regulations are part of the bigger changes Immigration New Zealand is implementing to the temporary work visa scheme. All revisions to the scheme are expected to be fully implemented in 2021.

Looking ahead

These new rules follow a consultation process between the government and key stakeholders that was held in March 2019 to obtain feedback to create a new visa system that is expected to be implemented in 2020/2021. With the new system, the government aims to create more streamlined rules and to remove some complexities by replacing six current visas (including the Essential Skills and Work to Residence visa) with a new visa. The new employer-led visa application process will provide for additional requirements for employers, including mandating that all employers be accredited in order to use the new visa. It is also expected to include a new assessment framework and new sector agreements that better reflect regional skill shortages.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to nzinfo@fragomen.com.

LIA 201500430