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Thread: South Island Contribution Residency

  1. #1
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    Default South Island Contribution Residency

    Hi all,

    I'd like to know if anyone has any info on timeframes for residency applications to be processed for work to residence visas, specifically the South Island Contribution visa.

    I am currently on this visa and it expires soon. The visa lasts 2.5 years, and you can apply for residency under the category after 2 years. Trouble is, that only leaves 0.5 years for the residency to be granted which in the current climate is not likely to happen. INZ do offer a second visa if you have made an application for residency under the category, which is valid until the residency decision has been made. This means those on the visa can continue to work in the meantime.

    My circumstances are a bit different. I was granted the first visa under an exception to instructions. This means that if I apply again for a second visa, presumably I'd be assessed against the same instructions for the first visa, which was a terribly long and difficult process for me until the exception to instructions was granted.

    If I apply for a second South Island Contribution visa, is it likely that a second one will be granted (the common sense option) or would I face the same difficulties I did with the first one?

    Anyone know of anyone else who has been granted residency under this scheme? Or any other relevant info?

    Cheers.

    Edit - I see the processing time for the second visa is 6 months. This is not ideal.
    Last edited by NiceCupOfTea; 12th February 2020 at 01:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NiceCupOfTea View Post
    My circumstances are a bit different. I was granted the first visa under an exception to instructions. This means that if I apply again for a second visa, presumably I'd be assessed against the same instructions for the first visa, which was a terribly long and difficult process for me until the exception to instructions was granted.

    If I apply for a second South Island Contribution visa, is it likely that a second one will be granted (the common sense option) or would I face the same difficulties I did with the first one?
    WR7.25 mentions the circumstances where one may be granted a subsequent South Island Contribution Work Visa. You must:

    • currently hold a South Island Contribution Work Visa, and
    • must have made an application for a South Island Contribution Resident Visa (and no decision has yet been made on that Resident Visa), and
    • must provide evidence of meeting WR7.10(b) – WR7.10(f), which are:
      • you must be in full-time (see W2.2.10), lawful employment in the South Island; and
      • you have undertaken full-time, lawful employment in the South Island as the holder of an Essential Skills work visa, or an interim visa, for five years between 22 May 2012 and 22 May 2017 (see WR7.10.1); and
      • you have acceptable ongoing employment, or an offer of acceptable employment, in the South Island (see WR7.10.5); and
      • you meet the health and character requirements for residence set out at A4 and A5; and
      • you meet the requirements for bona fide applicants set out at E5.


    If you do not meet WR7.10(b) – WR7.10(f), an immigration officer must consider granting you a South Island Contribution Work Visa as an exception to instructions; in particular, an immigration officer must consider the objective of the South Island Contribution Work Visa (WR7.1) and your circumstances if you fell marginally short of the "five years between 22 May 2012 and 22 May 2017" requirement. See WR7.10.10.

    If you are a Filipino dairy worker described in WR7.30, WR7.30 itself will apply to your subsequent South Island Contribution Work Visa (as it would have done for the original Work Visa), and RW8.10 will apply to your South Island Contribution Resident Visa application.

    There are continued employment requirements you must meet for the South Island Contribution Resident Visa; see RW8. You may also have employment requirements and restrictions continued even after you are granted a South Island Contribution Resident Visa, by means of Section 49(1) conditions (see RW8.5).

    Timelines are currently 6 months for a subsequent South Island Contribution Work Visa, and 12 months for the South Island Contribution Resident Visa.

    If you end up in a situation where your South Island Contribution Resident Visa application is still processing, and your current South Island Contribution Work Visa is about to expire, you will need to apply for a new South Island Contribution Work Visa to remain lawfully in New Zealand. This will bring Interim Visas into play if the subsequent Work Visa application is still processing when the current one expires, which will allow you to legally remain in New Zealand for up to an additional 6 months pending decisions on applications. I've explained why this is so over here.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I'm more trying to gauge whether it's likely that INZ would grant a second visa as an exception to instructions, given that this is what the first was granted as. The scenario you describe leaves the possibility that the second visa would be declined after the first visa has expired, leaving me with no current visa which is what I'm trying to avoid.

    I was granted a visa as an exception to instructions because I didn't fully meet WR7.10(b) to WR7.10(f), however I did meet the overall objective at WR7.1. The purpose of the second visa is to enable applicants for the residence visa to remain in NZ and work while the residence application is assessed. Since I have been granted the first visa, it would not make sense for INZ to decline the second visa, however an officer strictly following the instructions would in theory be correct in doing so. The instructions for the subsequent visa also include meeting WR7.10(b) to (f), which I do not.

  4. #4
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    I don't remember seeing anyone on the forum being granted this visa except you, so there aren't any precedents to point you to. Is there anyone out there who can help?

  5. #5
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    So a little more advice from the experts would be appreciated:-

    I have a couple of options. I could apply for a subsequent south island contribution visa, and be granted an interim visa until a decision is made on that. If it is declined (quite possible), then I have no work visa and no longer meet the criteria for the resident visa I am currently waiting on, therefore all is lost and I'm buying an outward ticket after working here continually for 10 years (and living here on-and-off since 1999!)

    Second option is a partner work visa which I qualify for as my partner is an NZ citizen and we have been together for over 4 years and lived together for 1. This means I'd (hopefully) get an interim visa until this is approved, then I'd have to apply for partnership residency costing me all the money again. At least this would be more likely to be approved than the subsequent contribution visa and I can carry on with life as normal.

    My questions regarding the above; assuming I apply for a partner-based work visa, would I still be granted an interim visa even though it's a different class? Also, the south island contribution resident visa requires that the applicant hold a current south island contribution work to residence visa; would I still be eligible for the south island contribution resident visa since I held the appropriate work visa at the time of application, or must I still hold this visa at the time INZ assess the application which is who knows when?

    If I applied for a subsequent south island contribution visa and am granted an interim visa until a decision is made and it is declined, do I have any right to apply for a different class of work visa (partner) at that point?

    I hope you can understand the scenario and give me some advice as I'm trying to weigh up the most tactical move right now. The 'common man on the Clapham omnibus' would see that granting a subsequent south island contribution visa is the most sensible and humane course of action here but as I'm sure we are all aware, that does not often factor in INZ's decisions.

  6. #6
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    Letting you know I've seen this. I will be back later when I will have more time to look up the regulations.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, I appreciate it. Regarding the requirement for current work to residence visa, the ops manual states:

    RW8 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under South Island Contribution work instructions

    Holders of visas granted under the South Island Contribution work instructions may be granted a residence class visa where:

    they have held a work visa granted under the South Island Contribution work instructions for a period of at least 24 months; and
    during the currency of that visa they have been employed:
    in a full-time role (at least 30 hours per week), in the region and industry specified on their visa throughout a period of 24 months; and
    by an employer who has a history of compliance with employment law and who is not included on a list of non-compliant employers maintained by the Labour Inspectorate (see R5.110 and Appendix 10); and
    they have current employment or an offer of employment which:
    is full-time (at least 30 hours per week); and
    is genuine; and
    is ongoing and sustainable (permanent or indefinite, or for a stated term of at least 24 months); and
    is in the region and industry specified by their South Island Contribution work visa; and
    has terms and conditions that are not less than the those of the New Zealand labour market; and
    is with an employer who has no significant adverse record with Immigration New Zealand or the Labour Inspectorate, and is not included on a list of non-compliant employers maintained by the Labour Inspectorate (see R5.110 and Appendix 10); and
    they hold full or provisional registration, if full or provisional registration is required to practice in the occupation in which they are employed; and
    they meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).




    The 'criteria' menu on the INZ website states:


    Employment while holding a South Island Contribution Work Visa

    You must have been employed for 2 years while holding a South Island Contribution Work Visa

    You must:

    currently hold a South Island Contribution Work Visa



    Not entirely unambiguous. I'm also reading around the forum that partner work visa applicants generally aren't granted interim visas that allow them to work. This whole situation could become a massive headache, through no fault of my own.
    Last edited by NiceCupOfTea; 12th March 2020 at 02:56 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NiceCupOfTea View Post
    My questions regarding the above; assuming I apply for a partner-based work visa, would I still be granted an interim visa even though it's a different class?
    Yes. Interim Visas may be granted to a person who holds a temporary visa, has applied for a further temporary visa, and is in New Zealand (I1.5).

    However, in this case, your Interim Visa will be granted with Visitor Visa conditions (so, no work), as you'll be going from an employer-specific Work Visa to an open Work Visa. See I1.20 for more on this. If this is not acceptable to you, you'll have to apply for the Partner of a New Zealand Work Visa far enough in advance that it will in all probability be granted before your South Island Contribution Work Visa expires. Check the criteria: depending on how long you've lived with your partner (from experience here, INZ will want to see a minimum of 2 months), you may already be eligible to apply.

    Of course, this means that the South Island Contribution Resident Visa will then be closed to you, but then you may be able to gain residence through the Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa.

    Quote Originally Posted by NiceCupOfTea View Post
    Also, the south island contribution resident visa requires that the applicant hold a current south island contribution work to residence visa; would I still be eligible for the south island contribution resident visa since I held the appropriate work visa at the time of application, or must I still hold this visa at the time INZ assess the application which is who knows when?
    I see you've answered your own question below -- from what you've found yourself, it seems the safest assumption to make is that you must hold a South Island Contribution Work Visa until a decision is made on the South Island Contribution Resident Visa.

    Quote Originally Posted by NiceCupOfTea View Post
    If I applied for a subsequent south island contribution visa and am granted an interim visa until a decision is made and it is declined, do I have any right to apply for a different class of work visa (partner) at that point?
    Yes -- but given I.20.5, which disallows you from applying for any visa while your Interim Visa is current, and also I1.15 which states that your Interim Visa will expire 21 calendar days after the date your further temporary visa is declined, you will likely have to do this offshore.

    Quote Originally Posted by NiceCupOfTea View Post
    I hope you can understand the scenario and give me some advice as I'm trying to weigh up the most tactical move right now.
    I would strongly recommend finding a good LIA if you would like more specific advice. We are not LIAs here: as such, we can provide you with factual information but we cannot advise.

    Purely out of interest, which of WR7.10(b) to WR7.10(f) don't you meet?

  9. #9
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    I see that Kelerei has covered everything, referring to the regulations.

    He's quite right - we as ordinary members of the public are not ALLOWED by NZ law to advise anyone, or say what you should do. Please see the Sticky threads at the top of this forum for more details. https://www.enz.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=6

  10. #10
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    Hi NiceCupOfTea, where did you extract this INZ instructions? I don't think INZ gives a subsequent South Island Contribution Work Visa while your South Island Contribution Residence Visa is pending.

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