Oct 31, 2022

Do you have staff travelling overseas? Ensure they can return to New Zealand

STAFF ON A 2021 INTERIM VISA, INTENDING TO TRAVEL? YOU NOW NEED TO SAFEGUARD THEIR ABILITY TO RETURN TO NEW ZEALAND

Two updates have just been announced by Immigration New Zealand that are hot off the press and crucial to Kiwi businesses.

The first affects those with staff looking to travel internationally and the importance of securing their return to New Zealand. The second update means greater access to seasonal workers and affects those hiring for the horticulture industry.

Below is a summary of these updates. Please get in touch if you need clarification.

2021 Interim Visa – Request for travel

As you may know, this year, 2021 Resident Visa applicants with existing visas set to expire, were granted a one-off 2021 Interim Visa lasting 12 months.

Interim Visas do not have travel conditions, which means if someone on an Interim Visa leaves New Zealand, that visa will expire and they will not be permitted to return unless they apply for a new visa or have their 2021 Resident Visa approved.

With 43% of submitted 2021 Resident Visa applications (approx. 104,000 applicants) still being processed, and borders now open for travel, Immigration New Zealand has just announced that 2021 Interim Visa holders may now request a new visa allowing them to travel and return to New Zealand.

Do you have staff on a 2021 Interim Visa? Make sure you are clear on their international travel plans! 

If staff are planning on travelling outside of New Zealand, they must request this new Visa prior to leaving the country. Failure to do so, means you risk having a worker stranded offshore, unable to return to work.

We are happy to assist with this process to ensure you have a continuing workforce. Get in touch if you need support.

Additional Update:

Recognised Seasonal Employer Visa

Also just announced from INZ is the cap for Recognised Seasonal Employer visas to be granted annually. This has been increased from 16,000 to 19,000.

What does this mean for Kiwi employers?

This will facilitate employers to support a larger number of horticulture and viticulture seasonal workers from our Pacific neighbours to help with planting, maintaining, harvesting and packing our valuable crops.

If you have staff on a visa, intending to travel outside of New Zealand, we recommend you get underway with the Interim Visa process immediately. We can help you fool proof this crucial process.

To chat about these changes or other immigration matters, get in touch! As always, we are here to help.

Author

Zinny Cheng
Corporate Services Manager – Visas
IAA License #201600617

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