Burning Questions answered

Announced 21 May 2020 – Immigration New Zealand

Q: What obligations do employers have for migrants who were employed by them before and during the epidemic notice period?

A: Employers must continue to comply with New Zealand employment law. More information on employment obligations can be found here: https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/other-types-of-leave/coronavirus-workplace/

Q: My employee has had their work visa extended. Do I now have to extend their employment as well?

A: Employers are not required to extend fixed-term employment because an employee’s visa has been extended, unless they wish to continue employing the individual

Q: As an employer, what will be the impact on my ability to employ staff on work visas in the future if we have to declare we have previously made workers redundant?

A: Employers must still demonstrate that they have attempted to hire New Zealand citizens or residents before being permitted to supplement their New Zealand workforce with any migrant labour. They may also need to demonstrate that the business is in the financial position to take on any additional employees they wish to hire.

Q: Can the first entry date on my visa be extended so that it doesn’t expire while border restrictions are in place? What about for resident visas?

A: INZ is considering the situation of those currently outside of NZ whose visas have either expired or will expire. More information on this will be provided when it is available. INZ can only permit the entry of people who meet the exception criteria set by the New Zealand Government which can be found on our website: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/border-closures-and-exceptions

Q: What should migrants do if they have lost their job and are facing financial hardship?

A: INZ understands that many migrants may have lost their job or had their hours of work and/or wages reduced as a result of COVID-19 and New Zealand’s Alert level system, which means they are not meeting their visa requirements.

Migrants who are experiencing financial hardship should contact their Embassy or Consulate for assistance. Migrants who are unable to support themselves or secure employment should make steps to leave the country.

Change in circumstances

Applicants, whether they are represented or not, remain obligated to inform INZ of any relevant fact, including any material change in circumstances that occurs after the application is made, if it may affect the decision on the application.

Extending the deadline for applying for residence following an ITA – Skilled Migrant or Investor 2 categories only:

Individuals who were issued an Invitation to Apply between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 will now have an additional six months to submit their application.

This provides applicants with 10 months in total from the date they were invited to apply to submit their application. INZ believe this is sufficient time for individuals to obtain the necessary documents for their applications.

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