Essential Skills Work Visa

Essential Skills Work Visa

Essential Skills Work Visa can be your option if you have the skills needed by the New Zealand labour market where locally this demand cannot be met. Many important industries such as construction, information and communications technology, public health, professional services and culinary are finding it challenging to recruit local New Zealanders for important roles.

As a result, thousands of businesses across New Zealand are offering employment to suitably skilled, qualified and experienced migrant workers. These migrant workers will usually apply for a work visas under the Essential Skills category.

Essential Skills Work Visa Key Requirements

  • To apply for the Essential Skills Work Visa, an employer must have tried to genuinely recruit suitable New Zealanders who are available to do the work on offer before offering you the job. This is called a ‘Labour Market Test’.
  • If the labour market test is unsuccessful, the employer may offer the role to a suitably qualified migrant worker. Essential skills work visa applicants can be offshore or onshore.
  • In some instances, a labour market test will not be required. This includes the occupation which is included in the Essential Skills In Demand lists (as long as you meet the specific requirements of these lists) or the employer has an Approval in Principle to recruit migrants for that role.
  • The applicant must demonstrate relevant work experience and qualifications qualified for the job and must be of good health and character.
  • From 27 July 2020 onwards, the duration of Essential Skills work visa is based on whether you are paid below or at/above median wage (which is calculated by Statistics NZ).

Assessment of Essential Skills Work Visa

  • Remuneration will be used to determine the following for an Essential Skills work visa application:
    • Whether an employer needs to engage with The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in order to meet the labour market test
    • The maximum duration of the visa
    • Whether the person holding the visa can support a partnership-based work visa to bring family with them to New Zealand. However, anyone offshore will be subject to the border restrictions currently in place.
  • ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) will continue to play a major role in the assessment of this application. ANZSCO will be used to determine:
    • Whether you are suitably qualified for the role you are being offered
    • Whether you are being paid at least the market rate for the role you are being offered
  • Requirements of bona fide, good character and health continue to apply

Note: Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Residence has had no policy changes and is a separate application from Essential Skills Work Visa. Being granted a 3 years Essential Skill Work Visa, does not mean you are eligible to file an SMC as it has its own distinct criteria and requirements.

We have extensive experience with processing New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa Applications.

We assist and represent applicants with all stages of the process, including explaining the documents required and supporting them through any additional information requests, pushing back to immigration where we deem the request to be unnecessary to the assessment of the visa.

Our representation is comprehensive and we guide our clients from the time of sign up right up till we achieve a successful outcome.

Talk to us to know more about Essential Skills Work Visa.

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