26 November 2018

Changes to Immigration fees and levies

Most New Zealand Immigration fees and levies have increased. This fee increase includes the Essential Skills Work Visa, Specific Purpose Work Visa, Skilled Migrant Category, Working Holiday Visa, Visitor and Student Visas. As there has been an increase of up to 50% on most visa categories sponsors may want to be prepared for the extra costs involved.  New fees and levies have taken effect from 5 November 2018.

Skilled Migrant and Essential Skills visas — changes to remuneration thresholds

The Essential Skills work visa and Skilled Migrant Category resident visa remuneration thresholds have been updated as part of Immigration New Zealand’s annual review. The new thresholds are based on the New Zealand median salary and wage rate of $25 per hour (up 2.9% from last year), equivalent to $52,000 per annum for a 40-hour per week job. These changes will come into effect from 26 November 2018. This will affect all applicants applying for work visas under Essential Skills Category and for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category

Who will be affected?

All applicants applying for work visas under Essential Skills Category and for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Impact:

From 26 November 2018 the thresholds will be as follows for:

  1. Essential Skills Work Visas:

  • Mid-skilled employment in an occupation at ANZSCO 1 – 3 will be $21.25 per hour or the equivalent salary.
  • Higher-skilled employment in any occupation (including those at ANZSCO 4 – 5) will be $37.50 per hour or equivalent salary.
  • Lower skilled employment in an occupation at ANZSCO 1 -3 will be $37.49 per hour or below or the equivalent salary.
  • Lower skilled employment in an occupation at ANZSCO 4-5 will be $21.24 per hour or below or the equivalent salary
  1. Resident visas under Skilled Migrant Category:

  • Skilled employment in an occupation at ANZSCO 1 – 3 will be $25.00 per hour or above or the equivalent annual salary
  • Skilled employment in an occupation at ANZSCO 4 -5 or which is not included in ANZSCO will be $37.50 per hour or above or the equivalent annual salary
  • In order to secure bonus points for residence Applicants must earn $50.00 per hour or above or the equivalent annual salary.
  1. Applicants who already lodged applications or who have lodged visas prior to 26 November 2018

  • Visas that people already hold will not be affected. Changes to the income thresholds will not affect the duration or conditions of visas that have already been granted.
  • If you apply for, or have applied for, an Essential Skills work visa and your application was received by INZ before 26 November 2018, the old thresholds will be used to assess your application and determine your visa application. Only new applications made on or after 26 November 2018 will be assessed against the new threshold.
  • If an application is received and accepted after 26 November 2018, the new thresholds will apply, even if, for example, the employment agreement has been signed prior to 26 November 2018.

Implementation:

Remuneration thresholds in Skilled Migrant and Essential Skills policies will be increasing on 26 November 2018.

Santa Fe Analysis:

Applicants and sponsors and employers must be aware of these changes as it will affect whether an applicant will be able to secure a work visa or residence.

For further information or assistance please contact:

Isabel Chorao
Immigration Manager
Santa Fe Relocation New Zealand
T: +64 9 363 9591
E: Isabel.Chorao@santaferelo.com

Simon Delmo
Immigration Manager
Santa Fe Relocation Australia
Registered Migration Agent No. 1066328
T: +61 3 9554 7393
E: Simon.Delmo@santaferelo.com


Soumeya Messadi
Head of Immigration Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
Santa Fe Group, Singapore
D: +65 6398 3520 / +65 9169 6061
E: soumeya.messadi@santaferelo.com

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