FAQs: Work to Residence Pathway for Truck Drivers03 May 2023
The Minister of Immigration and Transport had announced a transport sector agreement with a 2-year work to residence pathway for migrants in December 2022. The details of this agreement have now been finalised and it spells good news for migrant truck drivers in New Zealand with specific work experience. This new development could be a promising route for them to migrate to New Zealand and settle down. Here, we have tried to answer all the most significant questions that you might have about this new announcement.
I am a truck driver. Am I eligible for this residency pathway?
You will only be eligible for this pathway if you have been driving a truck that requires a class 4 or 5 licence in New Zealand for at least two years.
I have not driven a class 4 or 5 truck continuously for two years, but my total experience adds up to two years. Am I still eligible?
While this has not been explicitly stated in the policies (complete details are yet to be announced), it is likely that it will be a requirement.
Do I need to have been working for the same employer for at least two years to be eligible?
No, you could have worked for different employers as long as you have at least two years of experience driving a class 4 or 5 truck and your work visa is varied to allow a change of employer.
Is there a minimum wage requirement?
Yes, you need to be paid the median wage of $29.66 per hour or more.
Will my overseas drivers licence be verified?
Yes, your overseas drivers licence will most likely be verified for authenticity during the course of your residency application.
I meet all the requirements. How soon can I apply for residence?
You will be able to file your residency application from 29 September 2023 onwards.
Is there a cap on the number of truck drivers that will be offered residency?
No, the sector agreement for truck and bus drivers is uncapped, and there is no upper limit for the number of drivers that will be offered residency.
Is this residency pathway available only for a limited duration?
INZ has stated that the sector agreement will be reviewed after 12 months (around 29 September 2024). This means that the conditions in the agreement could probably change. However, any changes made to the agreement will not affect truck drivers who are already on their 2-year work to residence pathway.
I have not completed two years of continuous work as a class 4 or 5 truck driver yet but will complete it in the coming months. Will I still be eligible for this pathway?
Yes, you will be eligible as soon as you complete two years, given that you fulfil all other requirements of this pathway by that time.