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.