By Uglobal Staff
New Zealand has begun implementing changes to its Essential Skills visa, offering applicants who earn less than the median wage up to two years stay in the country compared to the previous only one-year maximum stay.
The Immigration New Zealand said the post pandemic measure had been taken to make the entire application process easier for essential workers apart from offering them a chance to stay longer in the country during these difficult times.
Starting from July 19, all foreign workers applying for the Essential Skills visa would qualify for a 24 month-long stay in the country if their wages fall below the median wage, which in New Zealand is 27 New Zealander dollars an hour and that is equal to about 19 American dollars an hour.
Applicants would no longer need to give another set of their medical and police records to authorities; their previously submitted documents to Immigration New Zealand from more than 36 months back would be deemed as adequate under the new rule change.
More importantly, applicants who do not change employer would also not have to go through another labor market test and would be able to meet this condition by simply submitting a declaration that the labor market test requirement has been met.
The labor market test would also not be needed from those who either have a work visa, or a student visa to pursue higher education studies like masters or PhDs, or if they belong to a critical profession, like a healthcare worker.
The Essential Skills Work Visa allows foreign applicants to live and work for an employer in New Zealand; part-time workers are ineligible for this visa category. Usually, employers must prove to authorities that they are hiring a foreign worker on the Essential Skills visa because they could not find a New Zealander for the same job.
People who utilize this visa can also study in the country for a period of three months, as long as they can show it compliments their work.
The Accredited Employer Work Visa will replace the Essential Skills visa in New Zealand from mid-2022, according to the Immigration New Zealand.
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