2021 Resident Visa and the impact of Covid19 Wage Subsidy02 May 2022
Introduction of the one-off 2021 Resident Visa and the long Covid-19 lockdown itself were arguably the biggest events affecting migrants in New Zealand in 2021.
When combined, they still create complications.
Were you on a Covid-19 wage subsidy on 29/09/2021? If yes, and you applied for 2021RV under Skilled or Scarce, you have special requirements to meet.
In this article, we will explain the impact of Covid19 Wage Subsidy on your 2021 Resident Visa. The requirements are different depending on what residency category you’ve applied under - Skilled or Scarce. If you applied under Settled, then your residence application is not impacted by Wage Subsidy payment on 29/09/2021.
Period of Disruption:
2021 Resident Visa requires you to meet policy on 29/09/2021 and the day of submission. During September 2021, many businesses were still reeling from the effects of the ongoing lockdown which started on August 18, 2022 (when Delta cases were first found in NZ) and had obtained wage subsidy from the government to keep their employees’ jobs secure.
But when the 2021 Resident Visa announcement came unexpectedly on 30/09/2021, the requirements had to be met the day before. This meant many people were caught out as they were still on wage subsidy being paid by the employers.
When Immigration New Zealand published the instructions for 2021RV on 01 December 2021, they made special rules for those getting wage subsidy on 29/09/2021. These were not known when the category was first announced, as a result this information has eluded many.
If you’re an applicant under Skilled category and you had a temporary pay reduction or hours of work due to Covid-19 related disruptions to business activity:
Normally, under Skilled, you need to show you were paid $27/hour on 29/09/2021 in a full time role. But if you were on wage subsidy on that date, you will need to show you were paid $27/hour before the period of the period of disruption had started.
If you’re an applicant under the Scarce category and you had a temporary reduction of working hours due to Covid-19 related disruptions to business activity:
Normally, under Scarce, you need to show you were employed in 'scarce' role on a full time basis on 29/09/2021. But if you were on wage subsidy on that date, you will need to show you were in full time employment before the period of disruption had started:
In both cases above, you must also prove you’ve returned to the normal hours of work once the business disruption has ended. Any temporary changes to your pay rate or hours of agreed work must be agreed to in writing by you and the employer.
Full time Employment:
Employment is considered full-time if the employment agreement demonstrates that the employment amounts to, on average, 30 hours per week over an agreed pay period.