New Zealand has made changes to several temporary work visas, so that visa holders can maintain their pathways to residence.

Key Points:

  • Effective Sept. 28, changes were made for the holders of the following types of visas:
    • Talent – Accredited Employers
    • Talent – Arts, Culture and Sport
    • Long Term Skills Shortage List Work to Residence
    • South Island Contribution Work to Residence.
  • Immigration New Zealand (INZ) requires that all Work to Residence (WTR) visa holders be 55 years old or younger. However, because of longer-than-normal processing times for residence visa applications some WTR holders are passing the age limit while their applications are being processed. Such WTR visa holders who have submitted a residence application which is pending assessment by INZ are now eligible to apply for a further WTR visa.
  • Applicants who have received a job offer from an accredited employer for a job that pays more than the minimum salary threshold are eligible to apply for a Talent – Accredited Employer category visa. In cases where employers have not renewed their accreditation, New Zealand has begun to allow current WTR visa holders in the Accredited Employer category who have resident visa applications being processed to be eligible to apply for a subsequent WTR visa. These visa holders must be working for the same employer and at the same base salary level. The second WTR visa can only be held for a maximum of two years while a residence visa application is being processed.
  • South Island Contribution visa holders who secured new employment because of COVID-19 disruptions to certain New Zealand industries or regions are now allowed to apply for a variation of conditions to change either the industry they work in or employment location within the South Island. However, they are not allowed to apply to change both. Previously, South Island Contribution visa holders were required to work in industries and regions listed on their visas, however given that COVID-19 has impacted some specific industries and regions more than others, INZ has decided to allow such visa holders to vary the conditions of their visas to allow further flexibility amidst the pandemic.

Background: Currently, there are longer-than-normal processing times for residence visa applications, which triggers the need for temporary entry class visa holders to apply for a subsequent temporary entry class visa in order to remain lawfully in New Zealand.

Analysis & Comments:
The above-mentioned changes will allow some temporary entry class visa holders with more flexibility to apply for a subsequent temporary entry class visa and continue to live and work in New Zealand while waiting for their residence application to be decided by INZ. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

Rest of World Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This includes Deloitte Tax LLP in the United States which does not provide legal and/or immigration advice or services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2020. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.