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Thread: Summary of the changes announced by INZ so far

  1. #161
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    An update received from INZ today - most of it applies to Queenstown but posting it here as that may be pertinent to someone:

    Exceptions to border closure
    Immigration New Zealand has now received 11,301 expressions of interest (EOI) from people who believe they meet exceptions to the border closure. Of the 11,106 EOIs decided so far, 2,220 meet the criteria and have been invited to apply for a visa.

    Visa processing update
    With more staff re-entering the office, visa processing capacity continues to grow. INZ now has 97% of onshore Immigration Officers currently able to work. All offshore offices remain closed.

    While we now have more onshore capacity, we do expect visa applications may take longer than usual to process. There will also be an increase in the time and effort required in processing some visa application types due to additional requests for information or comment being required.

    We often receive applications that have errors or are missing required information such as medical information, police certificates, employment agreements or the correct legal name of the business. It’s important to get all information correct in applications; otherwise this slows down the process.

    All applications are still required to meet normal immigration requirements, which for some will include providing a police or medical certificate. If individuals are unable to provide this documentation at the time they make their application they should include details of this and the reasons why the documentation is not available. This explanation will be considered when the application is assessed.

    INZ is committed to processing visas as fast as practicable but application processing times always depend on the complexity of an application. It is critical that the right level of scrutiny is applied to ensure the right decisions are made for New Zealand.


    Short-term variation of conditions for essential services
    As New Zealand moved into Alert level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday 13 May, any visa holder who received a short term variation will revert back to their original visa conditions at 11.59pm on Wednesday 24 June 2020. We intend to proactively inform clients about this condition expiry. If you have represented a client for a short term variation you can expect to receive this email.

    INZ help for migrants
    Queenstown Lakes District Council is currently in the process of setting up a community support and information service in Frankton. Other agencies, including Immigration New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development, will be in Queenstown from early next week to further discuss logistical details associated with the operation.

    While there may be a small number of appointment-only meetings next week, we are anticipating the service will be fully operational the following week.
    The INZ team will consist of staff who can help temporary migrants understand their immigration options, relationship managers who help co-ordinate information, engage with employers and provide information to migrants on options to depart New Zealand if they have no pathway to remain in the country.
    The INZ team will be established for an initial period of three weeks from Tuesday 2 June 2020 to help the significant population of migrant workers that have become unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
    Staff at the one stop shop will be on hand to provide information to migrants wanting to remain in New Zealand and make them aware of their job prospects in a changing labour market with an increasing number of unemployed New Zealanders looking for work.
    Temporary visa holders who are unemployed or in difficulty and want to return home should in the first instance talk to their Consulate or Embassy for assistance and information about the availability of flights to their home country. The COVID-19 wage subsidy is available to anyone legally working in New Zealand.
    Some decisions have already been made to provide temporary migrants in New Zealand with some certainty. An Epidemic Management Notice relating to immigration matters came into effect from 2 April 2020. This means that holders of a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who were in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 have had their visas automatically extended until 25 September 2020.
    The Government has agreed to relax visa conditions for a short period to allow temporary migrant workers and international students to further assist with our essential services during the COVID-19 response.

    Labour market tests in Queenstown Lakes District
    For roles with an ANZSCO skill level of 4 to 5, employers need to contact Work and Income to ensure there are no suitable New Zealanders available for the role. For Queenstown there are some roles that have been exempt from this process. But with effect from 26 May 2020 the exemptions will no longer apply and employers will need to follow the labour market test process used throughout the rest of the country.

    Migrant and employer information
    Immigration New Zealand is working with businesses, helping them navigate an environment where more New Zealanders are available to work, while continuing to uphold the rights of migrant workers.

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGoodhue View Post
    I have also heard of other licensed advisers receiving PPI letters for clients who applied for Essential Skills work visas before lockdown and their job is on an Essential Skills in Demand List (plus they meet the criteria of that list), and INZ are saying that they're not satisfied that even the Essential Skills in Demand Lists from pre-lockdown are applicable now and INZ are asking for proof that there's no New Zealander to do a job that's been on a skill shortage list for years!! I'm really shocked by INZ's stance on this - I'm worried that no thought has gone into INZ's process for dealing with work visa applications post-Covid and all immigration officers are acting like 'robots', churning out the same copy-paste message in PPI letters about how much the NZ labour market has changed and demanding proof that there are no New Zealanders waiting in line for jobs that there have been no New Zealanders to do for years now!
    If I received such a PPI letter, INZ would receive a very strongly worded reply back. WK3.10(b) is worded such that, regardless of their thoughts of how current the skills shortage list are, immigration officers have no discretion in this regard and must accept that no suitably New Zealanders are available if the criteria of any of those lists are met. Assuming no change in applicable immigration instructions, INZ's only option is to amend said lists.

  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelerei View Post
    If I received such a PPI letter, INZ would receive a very strongly worded reply back. WK3.10(b) is worded such that, regardless of their thoughts of how current the skills shortage list are, immigration officers have no discretion in this regard and must accept that no suitably New Zealanders are available if the criteria of any of those lists are met. Assuming no change in applicable immigration instructions, INZ's only option is to amend said lists.
    Indeed. It seems INZ are making up a whole new 'rule book' post-lockdown.....

  4. #164
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    Just a further note on INZ's current approach to the stricter labour market testing for Essential Skills work visa applications - in terms of proving that there are still no New Zealanders to undertake a role offered to a migrant in this new post-lockdown labour market, an employer may provide:
    *evidence that they have recruited New Zealanders to similar roles in recent months (prior to and during lockdown)
    * an explanation of how the role requires uncommon skills that continue to be unavailable in NZ workers
    * data in relation to the fact that there is still a shortage of NZer's for their particular occupation in their region

    Any case made needs to be backed up by facts and data, which could be obtained from:
    - the Ministry of Social Development
    - local Chamber of Commerce
    - MBIE
    - a relevant industry association.

    It is confirmed that an employer is not required to readvertise the role, but may choose to do so if they wish.

  5. #165
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    Hi Erin
    Has there been any update on the time frame for essential skill visa? I am going to apply for it by the end of the month
    Also any update on immigration minister making any policies regarding the bill that was passed?
    Thanks
    Raman

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raman2121 View Post
    Hi Erin
    Has there been any update on the time frame for essential skill visa? I am going to apply for it by the end of the month
    Also any update on immigration minister making any policies regarding the bill that was passed?
    Thanks
    Raman
    A complete and straightforward Essential Skills work visa could be processed in around 2 months, according to the manager of the team that processes these applications.

    No word from the Minister in relation to the Amendment Act - he has been silent on all matters immigration since the Bill passed but has made a couple of airy-fairy posts about how amazing the Government is on Facebook today

  7. #167
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    Oh so that means immigration could be allocated in a month after filing in the application ?
    Minister I saw his posts on fb, useless posts S always -,-

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raman2121 View Post
    Oh so that means immigration could be allocated in a month after filing in the application ?
    Minister I saw his posts on fb, useless posts S always -,-
    There's a team that "triage" the Essential Skills work visa applications as they are lodged online - they check the details of the application and if it is deemed "low touch" (that is, straightforward and all the documents that are needed for an immigration officer to make a decision are present and accurate) then it will be allocated to an immigration officer very quickly (this timeframe varies - in the past, it's been within a day or two from lodgement, but I think at the moment it's safe to bet on it being at least 2-3 weeks).

  9. #169
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    Erin I honestly want to thank you personally for all the good work you been doing. What you just told me, it has given me so much confidence going in with my application. I can atleast tell my employer that it will take 2 months

  10. #170
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    Erin sorry I got one more question. You know how you said straight forward case right
    So in my case, I am going to file in essential skill visa based on liquor manager/ buyer role with trade me advertisement and job is in small town at a foodstuffs supermarket. I canít provide skill match report though as work and income told me that they believe this job is mid skilled based on ANZSCO guidelines.
    So based on that is it still straight forward case according to you?

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