Several Resident Visa 2021 recipients were informed today about their eligibility for a Permanent Resident Visa, but some of them may have received incorrect information regarding the applicable date.
To be eligible for a Permanent Resident Visa, people need to have held a resident visa for at least two years when they submit their application, and meet all other criteria.
If their visa was issued when they were:
However, during the dissemination of the update, an error was made, resulting in some recipients receiving an inaccurate date. To remedy the situation, emails will be sent to the affected visa holders advising them to disregard the earlier incorrect information and to utilize the calculation formula provided above to determine their eligibility for a Permanent Resident Visa.
Longer AEWVs and new maximum continuous stay
Starting in November 2023, Immigration New Zealand will be implementing some important changes that you need to know.
Here's what you can expect:
To apply for the extended visa, AEWV holders need to meet specific criteria. Employers can support their workers by reusing job tokens without a Job Check, as long as they meet certain requirements.
INZ expects a large number of AEWV renewals, so they will prioritize processing applications that are within the next nine months of expiry. Applications for partners and dependents will be queued until the AEWV application is decided.
In the rare situation that an applicant's AEWV expires before their balance application is complete, they may be eligible for an interim visa to stay and continue working for up to six months.
For more information on these changes and the steps to apply, visit the INZ website.
Immigration New Zealand has recently issued a warning about a targeted phone scam that has been making the rounds. According to the warning message, the call is claiming to originate from 'The Immigration Bureau' and tells the recipient that there is a "serious problem with your visa." It then guides them to press various buttons to access services in English or Chinese.
However, the scam is entirely false and illegitimate. This is not a real call from Immigration New Zealand, and any person receiving it should immediately hang up and not engage in any further interaction.
The scammers' intention is to deceive people and identify potential targets for further scams. In the future, they may try to manipulate or trick people into revealing their personal or financial details, or to make unwarranted payments. As such, we are urging anybody who receives this telephone scam to report it to INZ immediately.
Furthermore, if you are a Visa holder and are concerned about your visa situation, please do not hesitate to contact INZ. It's important always to be vigilant and cautious of potential scams and to report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities. Remember, genuine immigration applications are only accepted by Immigration New Zealand, and people should not be caught out by fraudsters cheating innocent victims out of their hard-earned money. Stay safe, alert and protect your personal information.
Source: INZ website
Changes have been implemented to the Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa (MEPV) that benefit individuals who have been unable to secure suitable employment on their initial visa. These updates allow them to apply for a further MEPV, granting them the opportunity to find a new job or return home while remaining lawfully in New Zealand.
Starting from 24 October 2023, applicants for a further MEPV may be granted a duration of either 12 months from the start date of their initial MEPV or until the expiration of their original employer-specific work visa, whichever is shorter. This ensures that their total time spent in New Zealand aligns with the duration of their original work visa. It is crucial for applicants to demonstrate their active search for appropriate employment.
Applicants will not be required to pay any application fees for a further MEPV.
For additional details concerning the further MEPV, it is imperative for applicants to provide evidence of actively pursuing at least two AEWV eligible jobs over a span of four months or more while holding their initial MEPV. These job opportunities must be in a similar role to their original employer-specific work visa and offer compensation that adheres to the requirements of an Accredited Employer Work Visa.
Importantly, the conditions for the further MEPV remain unchanged from the initial MEPV. Visa holders will still have the freedom to work for any employer but will be unable to leave and re-enter New Zealand. Moreover, they are not authorized to sponsor visas for their partner or children residing overseas.
It is worth noting that applicants are not required to resubmit their Report of Exploitation Assessment Letter. However, it is crucial that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has not deemed their previously submitted report of exploitation as lacking credibility due to the submission of a false report. Meeting the eligibility criteria in this regard is essential for obtaining a further MEPV.
From 29 October 2023, employers will not be permitted to apply 90-day job trial periods in their employment agreements within the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme. This means that even job trials referred to in Job Checks submitted before the aforementioned date but assessed on or after it will be subjected to the prohibition. The new rules require an accreditation standard for the AEWV that prevents employers from including such job trials in their employment agreements.
Furthermore, technical updates have been made to immigration instructions to outline the conditions under which an employer’s accreditation may be suspended or revoked under the AEWV. These clarifications have been introduced to establish more clarity and ensure adherence to the new rules around the use of job trials in employment agreements within the AEWV.
Read more about this update here.
For those planning to visit New Zealand during the summer, it is recommended to submit their visitor visa application as soon as possible. The summer season is the busiest time of the year for travel to New Zealand, with a high volume of visitors expected. This means that visa application processing times may take longer than usual, causing potential delays in travel plans.
To ensure a smooth and timely application process, visitors planning to travel to New Zealand for the Christmas holidays should apply for their visitor visa by 25 October. This will give Immigration New Zealand (INZ) enough time to process the application and provide a decision before their travel dates.
Submitting a visitor visa application now, assuming the application is complete and straightforward, will lead to a faster decision-making process by INZ. Visitors can then book their flights, accommodation, and activities with confidence, knowing that their visa application has been approved.
It is important to note that visitors from visa-waiver countries may opt for an NZeTA instead of a visitor visa. However, it is still recommended to apply for either option in advance to avoid any potential travel disruptions.
Need assistance for your visitor visa?
In a bid to fulfill the annual cap of 2,000 visa approvals, the New Zealand Immigration (INZ) has decided to expedite the selection process for the Parent Category queue of expressions of interest (EOIs) received before 12 October 2022. The decision comes as a relief to the large number of prospective migrants eagerly awaiting selection. To this effect, INZ has announced that a one-off draw for 1,500 EOIs will be held on 17 October 2023, while all remaining EOIs in the queue will be selected in the following month.
It is important to note that there will be no balloted draw from the Parent Category in October and the next draw will be in November. However, it is anticipated that the processing of the large number of EOIs may take a while, and INZ has advised candidates to be patient as they conclude the selection process.
Looking ahead, INZ has reiterated that the Parent Category ballot selections will continue to take place every three months – that is, every February, May, August, and November. Therefore, the next ballot selection is expected to take place in November, with at least 100 randomly selected EOIs set to be drawn.
Prospective migrants are reminded that applications will only be approved if they contain all the required information. Once selected, applicants will have a four-month window to gather all necessary information to ensure faster processing of their applications. Further information about the process can be found on the INZ website.
Indian National Sentenced to 9 Months of Home Detention for Obtaining New Zealand Residence under a False Identity
Charanjit Singh, an Indian national, has been sentenced to 9 months of home detention after pleading guilty to two representative charges under the Immigration Act 2009 for obtaining New Zealand residence under a false identity. Singh had unlawfully stayed in New Zealand by not departing when his visa had expired. Upon returning to India, he acquired a passport with a different name and date of birth, which he used to apply for a visa to return to New Zealand.
By hiding his previous immigration history and submitting his application under a false identity, Singh deceived Immigration New Zealand (INZ) into granting him a visa. Singh continued to submit additional visa applications, providing false information about his true identity until he was eventually granted New Zealand residence. INZ conducted an investigation that revealed Singh had supplied false identity information to obtain several New Zealand visas.
Stephanie Greathead, Immigration National Manager Investigations, stated that Singh deliberately misled INZ by withholding relevant information about his real identity. Every individual who applies for a visa has a responsibility to tell the truth, and those found guilty of lying or intentionally withholding information can be prosecuted under the Act. Now that Singh has been convicted, consideration of deportation proceedings will commence.
Obtaining New Zealand residence under a false identity is a serious offence that can lead to imprisonment, deportation, or other serious consequences. As demonstrated in Singh's case, INZ takes immigration fraud very seriously and will conduct thorough investigations to identify those who violate the rules. Visa applicants are advised to always tell the truth and provide accurate information during the visa application process to avoid any legal repercussions.
Source: INZ website
From 9 October 2023, there will be changes to the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. These changes will see a simplified points system coming into effect that sets a clear skills threshold for residence and offers several ways for people to demonstrate their skill level. Under the new system, applicants will need six points to be granted residence.
What is changing?
From 9 October, applicants who wish to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa will need to meet one of the following:
If applicants do not gain enough points through one of these skill pathways, they will need to gain additional points through having skilled work experience in New Zealand. All applicants will need a skilled job offer in New Zealand, and most applicants will be required to spend time working in New Zealand before becoming eligible for residence.
Under the new settings, there will be no cap on the number of people who can gain residence if they meet the skills threshold. This, along with simpler settings, means applicants can expect faster decision times (where complete information is provided to Immigration New Zealand). Employers can continue to bring skilled workers to New Zealand on a temporary work visa, such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa, or employ migrants on other work visas such as the Working Holiday Visa, even if they do not meet the residence criteria.
In addition to the above changes, INZ has also recently confirmed further changes to other policy settings that are impacted with the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa opening on 9 October 2023, such as changes to interim visas and variations of conditions.
Changes to the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment
Changes to the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (LQEA) were made ahead of the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa opening, as well as the Work to Residence (WtR) category opening. The update was part of a wider review of the LQEA to ensure it is fit for purpose for use with the new Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.
The review is being carried out in phases, and includes:
The first phase of the review was implemented on 29 September and includes the following 7 countries:
Changes are on the horizon for those applying for the new Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. The government has recently agreed to updates regarding interim visas and interim variations of conditions.
Starting from 9 October 2023, when the new visa category opens, interim visas will undergo significant changes. Additionally, variation of conditions changes will become effective from 5 November 2023.
One big change involves allowing Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa applicants to be on an interim visa while awaiting their application outcome. These interim visas will be valid for up to 24 months and will include multiple entry travel conditions. This means applicants can leave New Zealand and return using the same interim visa as long as it's still valid. However, it's important to note that applicants must be in New Zealand on the day their visa expires to be eligible for an interim visa.
These changes also extend to partners and dependents of Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa applicants. They too will benefit from the new interim visa rules.
Moreover, individuals holding interim visas waiting for their Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa application outcome will have the ability to vary some of the conditions of their interim visa if their circumstances change. This flexibility is crucial since interim visas last for 24 months, and it's likely that applicants' situations may change during this time. Please note that eligibility for interim visa variations of conditions will be based on the specific conditions of the interim visa held and the applicant's situation.
It's important to keep in mind that not all individuals with the same interim visa conditions will have the same pathway for variation of conditions.
The cost associated with varying the conditions of a visa amounts to NZD$210.
Source: INZ website