18 December 2018 – The Government of New Zealand announced it is consulting on proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visa settings to ensure that work visas issued reflect genuine regional skill shortages. The consultation will close on 18 March 2019.
The proposals released for consultation include:
- introducing a new framework for all employer-assisted temporary work visas which will be employer-led, rather than migrant-led, and will include checks for employers, jobs and migrants
- replacing the Essential Skills in Demand Lists with Regional Skills Shortage Lists
- introducing sector agreements with sectors which rely heavily on migrant labour
- improving alignment of the immigration, welfare and education systems.
For employer-assisted temporary work visas employers often have to demonstrate through labour market tests that there are no suitable New Zealanders available to do the work.
The proposals are designed to strike the balance between providing more incentives and support for businesses to employ more New Zealanders, and ensuring that access to migrant labour is available where there is a genuine need.
Consultation on the proposals is open to all individuals, groups and organisations. Final decisions will be announced by mid-2019.