Residence Visas- Where to now?
26 July 2021
Reimagining New Zealand’s Residency Visa program
It is our understanding that the whole program is under review by the Minister Kris Faafoi. While the pause in EOI selection and ongoing review breeds further uncertainty – this represents a historic opportunity to repurpose. It is also an opportunity to better fit the NZ Residency Program and Skilled Migrant Category to the current economic and health realities in New Zealand.
Key Health Workers Considering their options
Covid-19 Key Workers need to be recognised
It bears repeating but our Key Workers during Covid-19 were not just health workers but the others which kept New Zealand going during the Level 4 lockdown last year. The people who worked without break while the bulk of New Zealanders were at home.
The supermarket workers, the cleaners, the truck drivers and the food service workers helped us during Covid-19. They moved, fed, cleaned and supplied New Zealand throughout this period.
Due to many of these positions being considered ‘low-skilled’ under ANZSCO there is no class of Residency available to most of them.
It is also the case that many key workers under Covid such as retail managers, chefs and others, already had applications under Skilled Migrant Category. They have had contributions during Covid disregarded by INZ case officers playing hardball. This is a world away from our PM’s message to ‘be kind’.
It is high time that the kindness and hard work of our Covid-19 key workers be recognised with their own class of Residence Visa. The contributions during Covid also be taken into account with existing Skilled Migrant Category visas and Work to Residence Visas.
Regions not getting their fair share
Other Doors Closing
While a lot of focus has been on Skilled Migrant Category closing. Other doors for Residency in New Zealand are also closing. Work to Residence Visas are in the process of being closed down. These Work to Residence Visas allow those who hold them to apply for Residence after two years. The Work to Residence Visas under ‘Talent Accredited Employer’ and ‘Long Term Skills Shortage List’ are also closing on 31 October 2021.
People working for key employers and those with jobs on the Long Term Skills Shortage will need to get their visa applications in by 31 October 2021.