From 19 July, holders of a ‘lower skilled’ Essential Skills Work Visas who apply for a new work visa to remain in their current job will be eligible to obtain a 24-month work visa.

Essential Skills Work Visas are classified by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) as either higher-skilled or lower-skilled depending on whether the rate of pay is as or above the New Zealand median wage, which will increase to $27.00 per hour on 19 July.

The skill level of the offer of employment determines both the length of the visa and what type of visa the holder of the visa can support for their partner.

Applying for a new Essential Skills Work Visa while still in the same role

Migrants who have a work visa (including an Essential Skills Work Visa and open work visas such as a Working Holiday Visa, Post-Study Work Visa or partnership-based work visa) and are already working in a full-time role will be able to apply for a further ESWV without the need for the employer to complete a labour market test. These applicants will not need to provide medical and police certificates to Immigration New Zealand if they have been provided with a previous application.

Documentation requirements have changed

When applicants are already working in a full-time role and apply for a new work visa, they will not be required to provide INZ with updated Police Certificates or Medical Certificates, if these were provided with a previous application.

They are also not required to provide a copy of their employment agreement. Partners and dependent children who apply for new temporary visas will still be required to provide updated police and medical certificates unless the ones they have previously submitted are still valid.