WK2.5 Applications for work visas under Essential Skills work instructions (to 27/08/2017)
Note: The instructions in this section cease to be effective from 28/08/2017.
WK2.5.1 Lodging an Essential Skills work visa application
- Applications for work visas must be lodged in the prescribed manner (see E4.50) and include an Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1113) completed by the employer.
- Applications made on the basis of an offer of employment in an ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5 occupation must include a valid Skills Match Report prepared by Work and Income, unless:
- the employer holds a valid approval in principle for the role identified; or
- the role is on an Essential Skills in Demand list and the applicant meets the qualification and/or experience requirements; or
- the role is in the Canterbury region (WK2.11); or
- Work and Income have advised Immigration New Zealand of a regional absolute labour shortage (WK2.10.1(e)); or
- the role is included in a list of occupations published by Work and Income that are exempt from the Skills Match Report process.
Note: A Skills Match Report may be used to support more than one work visa application, as long as it remains valid. A copy of the Skills Match Report should be included with each visa application.
WK2.5.5 Determining an Essential Skills work visa application
- Immigration officers must not grant a work visa to a non-New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder worker applying on the basis of an offer of employment, unless they are satisfied that:
- the applicant is suitably qualified by training and experience to do the work offered; and
- there are no New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders available to do the work offered (see WK2.10); and
- the job offer is for genuine, sustainable and full-time employment for the duration of the period for which employment is offered, as specified in the proposed employment agreement; and
- the employer has previously complied and will comply in future with all relevant New Zealand employment and immigration law and immigration instructions; and
- the employer meets the requirements set out at W2.10.15 and is not included on a list of non-compliant employers maintained by the Labour Inspectorate (see Appendix 10).
- Applications for visas under Essential Skills Instructions related to planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops in the horticulture or viticulture industries must be declined.
Note: Applications for work visas to plant, maintain, harvest or pack crops in the horticulture or viticulture industries must be made under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Instructions (see WH1) or the Supplementary Seasonal Employment Instructions (see WH3).
- INZ may, on an exceptional basis, require an employer to apply for an approval in principle to recruit overseas workers (AIP) for the purposes of assessing any further work visa applications supported by the employer. This requirement will be imposed only where an employer's recruitment of non-New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder workers is such that it is appropriate to undertake a labour market test for future applications collectively with an AIP, rather than on an individual basis. In these circumstances any further application for a work visa supported by that employer which is not associated with a valid AIP may be declined.
- Where the job offer is in the construction sector in the Canterbury region and the employer is a labour hire company, the application must be declined unless the labour hire company holds accreditation (see WK2.25).
Note: Employment is in the Canterbury region if the entire or principal place of work (as defined in section 2 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992) is within the territorial authorities of Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council and Waimakariri District Council.
WK2.5.10 Determining an Essential Skills work visa application where an employer holds approval in principle
- If the applicant is applying on the basis that their employer has been granted an approval in principle, immigration officers should refer to the approval in principle application to satisfy WK2.5.5(a)(ii – iv) above. A Skills Match Report does not need to be provided.
- Despite WK2.5.10(a), where an immigration officer has reasonable grounds for determining that the labour market or circumstances of the employment have materially altered since the grant of the approval in principle, they may undertake further checks to ensure the provisions of WK2.5.5(a)(ii – iv) are still satisfied.
- In cases where the employer supporting a work visa application currently holds or has previously held an AIP which has lapsed for that position, the conditions specified in the AIP will continue to apply, unless the employer can satisfy the immigration officer that the circumstances of employment have changed.
WK2.5.15 Determining an Essential Skills work visa application where an applicant is awaiting a Skilled Migrant Category decision
- Despite WK2.5.5(a)(ii), an applicant may be granted an Essential Skills work visa, valid for 12 months, without an immigration officer being satisfied that there are no New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders available to do the work offered if:
- they currently hold a temporary work visa; and
- they have applied for an Essential Skills work visa to continue working in the role they currently hold; and
- they meet all other requirements of Essential Skills work visa instructions; and
- they have been issued an Invitation to Apply under the Skilled Migrant Category and retain the ability to apply (see SM4.1), or have made an application for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and that application has not yet been completed; and
- their Expression of Interest was selected in part on the basis of points claimed for skilled employment in the role they currently hold.
- One further Essential Skills work visa, valid for six months, may be granted in exceptional circumstances to an applicant who continues to meet the requirements of (a) above.