What does the latest announcement from Immigration NZ mean for you?

What does the latest announcement from Immigration NZ mean for you? 

On Tuesday the Minister of Immigration announced some big changes for work visas. CC Recruitment was very pleased to hear the news and we believe the changes will have a positive impact on the immigration environment.Many of you will have questions about how the proposed changes will affect either you or your employee, so we’ve put together an outline of some of the key changes below.


One immediate change

The recent announcement proposed a number of changes to be rolled out over the next 18 months, but the only change that is almost immediately effective is for Talent Accredited Visas.

From October 7, 2019,  for Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visas there will be an increase in the annual salary limit from $55,000 to $79,560 per year.

This will effectively remove the option to gain a Permanent Resident Visa under an Accredited Employer and also limit the time employers can be accredited to 24 months.


Note, if you already have a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa or you applied before October 7, 2019, you are not affected by these changes and the conditions and length of your visa will not change. Also you will only need a salary of $55,000+ to meet the requirements for a Resident Visa.


More changes to come


All other updates to the current system are still in the design process and will be rolled out in stages over 2020 and 2021. Some of the details of these changes as we interpret them are as follows:


 – Workers currently on Low-skilled Visas will have the right to bring their families to New Zealand on Visitor Visas, for longer terms (i.e. the length of visa of the principal applicant).


 – A median wage of $25 per hour will be used to classify the type and length of a visa, replacing the reliance on the outdated ANZSCO skill level system.


 – The stand down period still remains for lower-paid workers, unless during the three years the migrant worker obtains a visa for a job that pays above the median wage.


 – All employers of migrant workers will be required to gain some form of accreditation.


 – A new Temporary Work Visa will replace and simplify six existing visa categories.


 – Labour market checks will be strengthened for those applications that fall under the median wage rate of $25 an hour.


 – Labour market checks will no longer be required for higher paid jobs above the median wage of $25 an hour in rural regions.


 – For those workers on $50 per hour or $104,000 per annum (based on a 40 hour week), employers will not be required to do a labour market test and employees will have the pathway to permanent residence once they have worked in that job for more than two years.

New sector agreements

Alongside the new visa application process for temporary work visas, the Government will negotiate Sector Agreements with specific sectors.

These will agree a workforce plan and the conditions to be met for recruiting temporary foreign workers for key occupations in the sector.

The first two Sector Agreements being negotiated are residential care and meat processing  and will likely be completed by mid-2020.

Following that other sector negotiations will take place by 2021, including dairy, forestry, transport, tourism, hospitality, horticulture and construction.

Going forward


It’s important to note that these are all planned changes only. Until further notice and instruction is given, the only effective change to current policy is the Talent Accredited Employer increase in remuneration threshold.

While the changes may have come as a surprise to some, CC Recruitment feels positive about the announcement and the clarity that it brings to the immigration environment. We feel there will be benefits for both employees and migrant workers going forward.

For further details, please see the following links:









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