By Vandana Rai, Director, Immigration Advisers NZ Ltd.
2022 has been an eventful year - with New Zealand borders now fully opened, visitors, migrant workers, working holiday visa holders, students and family members have finally started pouring in.
To enable this, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has been in overdrive. As a result, this year has undoubtedly been busy and sometimes challenging for New Zealand employers, their employees and the immigration industry. While some business sectors are hoping to find time to enjoy a well-deserved break during the festive season, others, like the hospitality and tourism sector, are buckling up to overcome staff shortages while coping with the holiday rush.
INZ's constant policy announcements to cope with the inherently dynamic nature of the industry, more so this year, have evoked a mixed bag of reactions. For example, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) implementation has made the process smoother for NZ employers to bring in the right talent to New Zealand. Despite this, employers are still struggling with staff shortages, and a lot still needs to be done.
However, this week's announcement about additional roles added to the Green List, the extension of employer's accreditation, the availability of Specific Purpose Work Visas to Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders, and Post Study Work Visas being available to those affected by the border closure, is a step in the right direction and will bring some respite to employers.
In addition to the above, recent announcements about the delay in implementing the changes in partners' work rights for AEWV holders and the instructions for varying AEWVs and Essential Skills Visas are welcome too. It has brought much-needed respite for employers, migrant workers, and their families.
Meanwhile, the Government is also trying to attract investors by introducing the new Active Investor Visa Plus Visa. This new visa has replaced the old Investor 1 & 2 visas and promotes direct investments to boost our economy.
Earlier in the year, the 2021 Resident Visa was life-changing for more than 200,000 people. Around 65 per cent of the 2021 Resident Visa applications have been processed since the category first opened on 01 December 2021. In addition, the Skilled Migrant Category has reopened after a long hiatus, bringing excitement among onshore migrants working for NZ employers.
Another welcome announcement this year has been reopening of the Parent Resident Visa category, which was long overdue. Also, with the border reopening, the offshore partners and other family members reunited with their loved ones in New Zealand.
I am aware that frequent announcements and amendments to immigration instructions can be overwhelming for employers. If there is a need for clarification or assistance with interpreting the immigration policies and their implication for your business, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the Licensed Immigration Advisers (LIA) at our office may not be able to provide customised immigration advice without signing a client contract, you can certainly expect to be pointed in the right direction.
We look forward to next year to continue our quest to help those who need immigration-related guidance.
Meanwhile, we at Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd wish you a wonderful Christmas season. Happy Holidays everyone!
For more information, visit: https://nzimmigration.info/