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Changes announced for Work to residence policy

As part of a major overhaul of employer-assisted work visas due 2021, the New Zealand government is announcing changes to the work to residence (Accredited employer) work visa category this October.

What are the changes?

From 7 October 2019, the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa salary threshold increases from NZ $55,000 to NZ $79,560 (150% of the current median salary). This pathway is also known as "Work to residence" (Accredited Employer).

What this means for you

You currently hold a Talent: Accredited employer work visa

This change will not impact your current work visa, and you will still be able to apply for residence based on the salary threshold of NZ $55,000 (after 24 months employment).

You have a Talent: Accredited employer work visa application in process

As your application was lodged before 7 October 2019, it will be assessed under the policy in effect at that time (thus NZ $55,000 minimum salary threshold). You will also be able to apply for residence based on the salary threshold of NZ $55,000 (after 24 months employment).

What if the employer obtains accreditation before 7 October 2019?

The new salary threshold will apply to all Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa applications submitted from 7 October, regardless of when the employer became accredited.

What if I obtain a job offer from an Accredited employer after 7 October 2019, below the new threshold?

We may be able to seek an Essential Skills Work visa for you instead.


Other changes

The changes also remove the ability to get a Permanent Resident Visa from this pathway. If you hold a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa obtained before 7 October and you earn NZD $90,000 or more per annum, you can seek a Permanent Residence visa when making your application for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa. This means a Resident visa without travel conditions.

This will no longer be possible, although you will still be able to apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident visa with normal travel conditions after 24 months employment.

You may also be eligible for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category at any stage.

Employer accreditation limited to 24 months

The last change occurring on 7 October is for employers who seek accreditation: they will only be accredited for 24 months before they have to reapply. This 2-year limitation in the duration of accreditation is meant to allow for the overhaul of employer-assisted work visas.