The New Zealand border will be fully reopened by 1 August 2022. All work visa categories, including the new Accredited Employer Work Visa, will open for applications on 4 July 2022.
At 23:59 (NZST) on 31 July 2022 the maritime border will reopen, as will applications for student and visitor visas.
As we reconnect with the world, the Government is rebalancing the immigration system to support a more productive, higher-wage economy.
Employers will have greater access to skilled workers, families and friends can reunite, international students can return, and welcoming international visitors will boost our tourism and events sectors.
Accredited Employer Work Visa
The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is being introduced on 4 July 2022.
The visa will be available mainly to workers earning over the median wage. From 4 July the median wage will be $27.76 per hour.
The Essential Skills Work Visa will close to applications on 3 July 2022.
From December 2022, most partners of temporary migrant workers will need to qualify for their own AEWV or Visitor Visa.
In 2023, we will require all employers to be accredited to employ any migrant, including those with open work rights (such as working holidaymakers or students).
A new green list of occupations will make it easier for employers to hire and attract migrants for specified high-skilled, hard-to-fill occupations, including in the construction, engineering, trades, health, and ICT sectors.
Transition arrangements will allow for certain roles within construction, care, tourism and hospitality sectors to be recruited at rates slightly lower than median wage.
Open work visas
On 9 May 2022, open work visas were granted by special direction to those in New Zealand holding one of the following visas expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 (inclusive):
New visas have also been granted to partners and dependent children of the new open work visa holder.
To be eligible, family must have:
Partners and dependent children who held work, student or visitor visas based on their relationship to the work visa holder will be granted the same type of visa.
On 9 May 2022, the following types of work to residence visas expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 (inclusive) held by those in New Zealand were extended by special direction by six months:
There is no cost to the visa holder.
Visas expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 (inclusive) held by partners and dependent children were also extended by six months.
To be eligible, family must:
There is no cost to the visa holder for these extensions or new visas.
Visa conditions stay the same. Any visa conditions that have been varied also stay the same.
INZ will email eligible visa holders by the end of the month (May 2022). Online records for the new visas and extensions will be updated by 25 May 2022.
Those granted a new visa by the 9 May 2022 special direction can apply for a 2021 Resident Visa if the visa held before was eligible.