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Thread: Skilled Work Visa + Residency

  1. #1
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    Default Skilled Work Visa + Residency

    Hello everyone!

    I have received a job offer for February 2021 as a teacher. I want to live in New Zealand and for X reasons, I cannot start the process with immigration until December-January. My question is: How do I do this?

    Do I apply for Essentials Skill Visa (2 months waiting) + Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa (6-17 months waiting)? (2 applications at the same time)

    If I apply only for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, will they give me a temporary work visa while they process the residency?

    I am afraid of applying for the Skilled Migrant and that it will take too long to give me a work visa to start classes in February.

    This waiting time concerns me a little bit ...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kracius View Post
    If I apply only for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, will they give me a temporary work visa while they process the residency?
    Pretty much, no. The only case where this happens is someone offshore meets the 160 point threshold without having either a job offer or studies in New Zealand, and in this case, INZ defers the Resident Visa application, invites one to apply for a special Work Visa (the JSV) to find employment, and resumes processing on the Resident Visa when employment has been found (SM3.20 and WR5).

    If you want to work in New Zealand while your Resident Visa is being processed, you will definitely need a separate Work Visa -- and with the current processing times for the Skilled Migrant Category, you can forget about having one by February 2021. Don't worry about having two applications in the system at the same time, as this is a fairly common scenario these days (e.g. there's lots of instances on this forum where a temporary entry class visa holder is in New Zealand, has applied for a residence class visa, but needs a further temporary entry class visa to legally remain in New Zealand as the previous one is about to expire and the residence class visa application is still in progress).

    I'd personally put in the Work Visa application as soon as possible, border restrictions notwithstanding: the sooner you lodge that application, the more likely you are to have it in time to start work (again, discounting the effects of the border closure and travel restrictions, which you must definitely consider). INZ will simply place your application on hold, and assess it at a point where you are likely to meet entry requirements (see this amendment circular). Also, consider that Essential Skills visas are changing.
    Last edited by Kelerei; 22nd July 2020 at 05:04 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thank you very much Kelerei,

    I am already in New Zealand, my current work visa expires on March.

    So basically I should apply inmediately for a new Essentials Skills Visa as a teacher (even though the salary will be above median wage) and in parallel, process the Skilled Migrant Category. Did I get it right?

    Thank you again!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kracius View Post
    I am already in New Zealand, my current work visa expires on March.

    So basically I should apply inmediately for a new Essentials Skills Visa as a teacher (even though the salary will be above median wage) and in parallel, process the Skilled Migrant Category. Did I get it right?
    Sorry, I didn't realize you were already in New Zealand as a Work Visa holder -- the way you worded your original post, you implied that you were offshore!

    You'd need to liaise with INZ for the new Essential Skills Work Visa to be issued only once you've worked out your notice period with your current employer. That's because, once your new Essential Skills Work Visa is issued, you would no longer be able to legally work for your existing employer (don't forget that your current Work Visa is cancelled, even if there's still time to go until it expires, when your new Work Visa is issued -- see E3.40(a)(vii)). It's important that your Work Visa correctly reflects your employment details at all times: if not, you are working unlawfully, which may result in visa revocation or deportation. See this knowledgebase article on the subject.

    However, this makes no difference as far as the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa is selected, since you can claim points for skilled employment for an offer of New Zealand employment, even if you haven't taken up that offer yet (SM6.5). INZ will assess that the offer meets the requirements of SM6.10 (and SM6.10 continues to apply if you take up that offer before INZ gets around to processing your application).

    EDIT: A quick note on labour market tests may be in order. You would not be exempt from the labour market test by virtue of having an SMC application in progress (WK3.20.10), since this only applies if you're applying for an Essential Skills Work Visa to continue working in your current role (and therefore doesn't apply if you're starting a new role). You'll only therefore be exempt from the labour market test if you satisfy the requirements of one of the skill shortage lists (WK3.10(b)) -- any of the current Long Term Skill Shortage List, Regional Skill Shortage List or the Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List will do.
    Last edited by Kelerei; 22nd July 2020 at 11:01 PM.

  5. #5
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    Sorry for the late reply,

    Thank you very much for your answer Kelerei. So basically, If I am still under my working visa while applying for the new one, I must respect the notice period and tell inmigration of my move. Am I right?

  6. #6
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    Liaise with INZ, giving them all the details (the notice-period in your contract, the new-employer's wished-for date for you to start), then they'll co-ordinate the changeover (having checked out the new employment, of course).

  7. #7
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    Thank you JandM for the clarification!

    Blessings

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