New zealand VIsa

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Lloyd Vivera, who is originally from India , is an immigration lawyer practicing Australian and New Zealand immigration law. He moved to New Zealand in 2001. Read more>>

Immigration has announced that they will be strictly interpreting the labour market test, which is a major component in an essential skills application. In order to be able to meet the labour market test an employer must demonstrate that they have made “genuine attempts” to recruit a New Zealand citizen or resident who is suitably qualified and/or experienced for the role or who can “readily be trained to do the work on offer”.

Immigration has decided that they will take the current unemployment situation when assessing applications, even though when the employer advertised prior to COVID-19, no suitable candidates were available. In other words, Immigration is likely to assume that due to COVID-19, the situation has changed, and New Zealand citizens/residents are now available to do the job. According to Immigration, their priority is that employment opportunities are given to as many New Zealanders as possible. If there is a New Zealand candidate who is suitably qualified or can be readily trained to do the role on offer, then the labour market test will not be satisfied. In other words, Immigration would proceed on the assumption that for most roles, New Zealanders would be available, and the onus is on the employer to displace the assumption.

We expect that in majority of the applications, Immigration officers are likely to ask employers to provide updated information/evidence to confirm that no suitable New Zealanders are available to take up the offer despite the current unemployment situation. Employers will be asked to confirm that they can sustain the employment.

With these changes, the decline rates would be substantially higher than usual till the unemployment rates fall to less than 5%