Immigration News October 2020
In this brand-new blog series, we round up the immigration news highlights every month – so you can stay across what’s going on, and find out what happened in the previous month.
Announcements from Immigration New Zealand
Selection of EOIs for Residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and Parent Category deferred another 6 months
On October 19th the Government announced that they will continue to pause the Expression of Interest (EOI) selection process for both Skilled Migrant Category and Parent Resident Category for a further 6 months. This decision will be reviewed in 2021.
Introducing Labour Under and Over Supply List
The Ministry of Social Development has identified undersupply and oversupply of labour in sectors and regions – so employers can find out more easily if New Zealanders are available for jobs. This matters to migrants because from 7th October INZ will consider these lists when assessing Essential Skills work visa applications (including those submitted before 7th October) for positions paid below the national median wage of $25.50 per hour.
Closure of the Visa Application Centre in Noumea, New Caledonia
The New Zealand Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Noumea will be closing on 30th October – so from this date, anyone who would have normally submitted their visa application there should either apply online or submit a physical application to the VAC in Sydney.
Bali Visa Application Centre is moving locations
From 19th October, the New Zealand Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Bali will move location.
Immigration articles from the New Zealand news media
Thousands of Managed Isolation Vacancies Every Week Since July
Immigration Advisor Katy Armstrong says the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) vacancy numbers – 2138 on average every day since July – were terrible, and had “bored a hole in her soul” when she is faced with sobbing clients whose border exemptions had been rejected. Especially when MIQ capacity was highlighted as the main reason for border restrictions.
Immigration Adviser frustrated by empty beds in MIQ facilities
Immigration adviser Katy Armstrong is interview by Newstalk ZB. Government bodies say the empty beds are for contingency; she says it needs to be made clear only two thirds of MIQ beds are being used.
“We’ve got families who are split apart with really serious humanitarian issues going on. There’s something wrong, there’s a disconnect, and we just want to make sure our managed isolation is being used appropriately.”
Immigration Roadblock Strangling Entry of Urgent Workers
Lawyer Aaron Martin from here at New Zealand Immigration Law was interviewed by Business Desk. He discusses how the entry of critical workers into the country has now slowed to snail’s pace – with INZ putting up invisible and unexplained barriers to priority applications and border exemptions.
Government to let in 250 International Students
Education Minister Chris Hipkins explains why so few student groups are being allowed to return, “These are students who hold or held a visa for 2020, and whose long-term commitment to study here was disrupted by Covid-19. Our approach allows us to carefully manage the demand on our quarantine facilities, and the complex nature of bringing students back into the country.” Read it now.
UK migrant appeals for exemption: ‘NZ Social Workers are stretched’
More questioning of border restrictions. A British social worker says overseas social workers are desperately needed here and should be included in health-related exemptions. She is among those rejected after applying to travel to New Zealand – despite having a job offer in Tauranga.
“You’ve got to look at Covid where we’ve had more poverty, more domestic abuse,” she said. “Social workers in New Zealand are so stretched, so the children and families are just not getting what they need. Vets are now allowed in to assist animals, why are children not being considered?”
Government nixes calls for fruit pickers to be let into NZ for now
Usually, about 14,000 workers come into the country to work the apple season, taking part in the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme. Not in 2020 – and Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi explains that ideas like getting fruit pickers direct from countries free of Covid-19, or isolating outside of managed facilities, were too risky.
ON THE NZIL IMMIGRATION NEWS BLOG
New Border Exception Category Announced (Advice)
Offshore work visa holders whose residence was approved during the border closure may now apply to re-enter New Zealand. Only those who departed between 1 December 2019 and 9 October 2020 and hold an Entrepreneur Work Visa/Work to Residence Visa/Essential Skills Work Visa (mid-skilled, high-skilled, or paid $25.50 or more per hour) are eligible.
If you’re in this category, we explain what you need to do next in this blog post – including what conditions you have to meet, as well as highlighting some potential snags.
Partners Now Eligible for Critical Entry (Advice)
Partners of New Zealand citizens or residents can now apply to travel to New Zealand if they are Australian or from a country on the visa-waiver list. We explain who is eligible – and what evidence you need to include in your application or Request to Travel – in more detail. (And in easy-to-understand language – we know INZ announcements can be hard to decipher sometimes!)
EOI for Skilled Migrant Category on Hold for 6 Months (Opinion Piece)
After INZ announced that the EOI selection process for the Skilled Migrant Category (and the Parent Category which is not yet open) has been put on pause for a further 6 months, we explain the negative impact this could have on migrants, who will be most affected, and what this decision has to say about the government’s attitude towards immigration.
Guide to Hiring a Migrant Worker in 2020 (Advice)
Directed at employers, this article explains some of the key changes that have taken place since March’s border closure around hiring and sponsoring migrant workers, and the impact these changes have on NZ employers looking to do so. Plus, we share advice for employers over next 6 months (flagging accreditation status as a big one to be aware of, delays in processing applications, and labour market testing).
Suspension of temporary visas extended until February 2021 (News)
Immigration New Zealand announced on the 29th of October that overseas applicants for temporary visas will have to wait until at least February 2021 to file.