A false sense of hope!

Opinion piece – as most New Zealand employers come to the end of the Wage Subsidy Scheme, it is becoming more apparent just how disadvantaged migrant workers are!

Those visa holders who received automatic extensions [visa expiry between 02 April to 09 July – inclusive] to 25 September 2020 are now facing the reality of meeting very harsh requirements when applying for new visas to remain in New Zealand and in employment.

Most visa holders, especially those with work-rights became complacent about the automatic extensions.

The labour market has changed considerably since the Level 4 Lockdown and now more than ever, Immigration New Zealand are clamping down, requiring VERY strict Labour Market Testing (“LMT”) for visa holders on essential skills work visas.

The future is dire for most of these people and New Zealand employers are now required to complete lengthy questionnaires, provide detailed financial statements and profitability reporting; as well as demonstrating their staff retention in the coming 12 months. Employers are being asked to “crystal ball gaze” as New Zealand possibly faces their second-wave of covid-19 cases.

Just last week, Immigration New Zealand published an extensive list of key infrastructure projects/government approved programmes . If your skills are not meeting the occupational registration or earning twice the median wage range (also holds true for work visas), be prepared for a bumpy ride!

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