Employer update – INZ increase fees and seek submissions for skill shortage review

Increase in immigration fees and levies – 5 November

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has announced that from 05 November 2018 that a new fee schedule will apply for visa applications. Although some fee types are decreasing, the majority of fees for most types of visas will increase.

For your employees, it should be noted that the fees for Essential Skills Work Visa and Work to Residence Visa (Talent/Accredited Employers) have been increased the most (over 50%), and the discount for applications submitted online will also be removed.

The reasons for these changes are complex, but include the government’s cost recovery, investment in compliance enforcement and border security, and the overall maintenance on the integrity of immigration system.

If you are looking to apply for visas for any of your current or proposed employees, these should be filed before the 5th of November before these fees increase.

2018 Skill Shortage Review

INZ has completed the initial process of the annual review of the Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists and is now seeking submissions from the public, especially employers, trade unions or industry training bodies to help them assess the status of selected occupations.

The closing date for these submissions is 09 November 2018. If your industry is being affected and wish to put in opinions about the ESID Lists, you must do so by filling out an ESID Submission Form and send it to shortages.review@mbie.govt.nz by this date. INZ will then make a further assessment and announce the final changes early next year.  Alternatively our firm can assist with individual and collective submissions.

The ESID Lists consist of the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL), the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) and the Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL). From the employer’s point of view, it’s worth noticing that among the 14 occupations listed, 7 are not currently on any of the ESID Lists. These new occupations include Building Associates, Café or Restaurant Manager, Early Childhood Teacher, Fitter (General), Primary School Teacher, Secondary School Teacher and Wood Machinist. Now that INZ has nominated these occupations for review, it’s possible that they would be added to one or more of these lists (pending industry feedback).

If you can offer an occupation that is on the LTSSL, then you and your employee may be able to enjoy some benefits, including:

  1. You may be able to skip the Labour Market Test when supporting an employee for an Essential Skills Work Visa;
  2. Your employee may apply for Work to Residence visa and obtain residence under this category, with no English requirement; and
  3. Your employee may claim bonus points for their employment and/or work experience when they apply for residence under Skilled Migrant Category.

Furthermore, if you can offer an occupation that is on the ISSL, you may be able to skip the Labour Market Test when applying for an Essential Skills Work Visa.

However, it should still be noted that the applicant must meet certain qualification/work experience requirements in order to be eligible under these categories.

If you wish to know more about the review process, make submissions or know more about the ESID list for your employee, please contact Lane Neave’s Immigration Team.

Workplace Law team

If you have any queries in respect of the above, or any other Workplace Law issues, please contact a member of Lane Neave’s Workplace Law team:

Employment: Andrew Shaw, Fiona McMillan, Gwen DrewittMaria Green,  Hannah Martin, Joseph HarropHolly StruckmanAlex Beal, Giuliana Petronelli, Abby Shieh
Immigration: Mark Williams, Rachael Mason, Daniel Kruger, Nicky Robertson, Julia StrickettKen Huang, Mary Zhou, Shi Sheng Cai (Shoosh)Sarah Kirkwood, Janeske SchutteLingbo Yu
ACC: Andrew Shaw
Health and Safety: Andrew ShawFiona McMillan

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