Closure of Talent (Accredited Employer) and LTSSL Work Visa Applications
As advised in our previous newsletter, the Minister of Immigration has delayed the implementation of the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) framework and associated mandatory accreditation standards, due to come into effect on 1 November 2021, to at least mid-2022.
Despite the delay in the new framework, the Minister has now confirmed that some of the changes that had been announced as part of the transition to the new framework will still go ahead. Specifically, the closure of the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work visa and the Long-Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) Work visa will happen on 31 October 2021. Note that this is different to our last newsletter, when the intention was for these visas to continue to be applied for beyond October 2021.
Those employers who were able to obtain Accreditation before applications closed on 30 June 2021, or who hold Accreditation that remains valid for some time will be able to leverage their status to support Work to Residence – Talent (Accredited Employer) work visa applications up to 31 October 2021 only. After this date, new applications will not be possible.
Visa Processing during Level 4 lockdown
Outside of Auckland the majority of Immigration New Zealand’s offices have resumed operations with the move to COVID-19 Alert Level 2. The Auckland offices remain closed. As the primary receiving centre for paper-based applications this has caused delays to the processing of most applications.
While mail has now been redirected from the Auckland documentation office to Immigration New Zealand offices outside the city, there will continue to be delays in the receipting and lodgement of paper applications. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to submit their visa applications using INZ’s Online system where possible. Online applications are being prioritised.
In addition, Immigration New Zealand has released an online request portal for Variation of Conditions applications for work visa holders. These applications are being processed in the order received, with priority given to paper applications submitted prior to lockdown. Only Variation of conditions applications related to work visas can be requested through this new channel. Individuals applying to vary the conditions of their visa to study, for example, will still need to submit paper-based applications in the normal manner.
Skilled Migrant Residence Category
Finally, a further update on the Skilled Migrant Category. Whilst selection of Expressions of Interest under the Skilled Migrant Category remains suspended, the Minister’s latest update on 14 September 2021 advised that an announcement on the resumption of selections could be expected by the end of October 2021.
If you have any questions on the updates provided, please do not hesitate to contact us.
DISCLAIMER This information is current as of date of publication and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.