Other Critical Worker Announcement

March 14, 2022
Iain MacLeod

As pressure mounts on the NZ Government to allow more skilled workers to cross the border to alleviate worsening skills shortages they announced today that anyone overseas with a job offer for at least 12 months of work, that pays 1.5 times the median salary (around $84,000) a year will now be eligible for a non-labour market tested work visa. This is great news for many of our clients who can expect to earn that or considerably more.

The challenge will still be to secure work without being in New Zealand first but we encourage anyone who is document ready (for a work visa) to sort their CV and start thinking about applying for roles. We continue to advise all to temper their expectations given history tells us most employers will likely demand you have work rights (a work visa, which is impossible without the job offer), to be in New Zealand or to have New Zealand work experience. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

If you’d like more information on what you might be likely to earn in the NZ market and how the process will work let us know.

While we don’t want to draw too many conclusions from this announcement it seems to us that this is a clear signal that the new skilled resident visa policy (which will be announced in the next month or two apparently) will likely require applicants to earn 1.5 times the median salary to create a pathway to residence. If this happens we expect there to be occupations known to be skilled and in acute demand, which are also known to earn less than that to be carved out and a pathway to residence created.  Time will tell but now more than ever it is important to understand the rules around both work and resident visas if you are planning on a permanent move, rather than a short term one.

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