17 May Changes in New Zealand Immigration Policy: Implications for Partners of Migrant Workers
Greetings, all. Today we are dissecting recent changes to New Zealand’s immigration policy, specifically the new work conditions for partners of migrant workers, which become effective from May 31, 2023. These changes carry significant implications for both migrants and their partners.
The principal changes include:
- Partners are now restricted to employment with Accredited Employers.
- Roles covered by capped Sector Agreements are not available for partners.
- If a partner’s role isn’t covered by a Sector Agreement, they must receive at least the median wage, which currently stands at NZD $29.66.
- Changing employers no longer requires a Variation of Conditions application for partners, and there are no minimum hours that partners need to work.
- Partners of migrants earning at least twice the median wage or those employed in a Green List role are not subject to the median wage threshold.
- Some AEWV or ESWV holders, particularly those earning less than the median wage, will not be eligible to support a partner work visa.
These changes carry both positive and negative consequences. On the positive side, the policy aims to ensure partners of migrant workers receive fair wages. The requirement for a Variation of Conditions to change employers has also been removed, and partners aren’t required to work a minimum number of hours.
On the other hand, these rules could restrict job opportunities for partners, as they can now only work for Accredited Employers. Some workers, particularly those earning less than the median wage, will not be able to support a partner work visa.
Please note, these changes do not impact current work visa conditions or applications made before May 31, 2023. We strongly recommend staying updated and informed; the INZ website is an excellent resource for verifying if an employer is accredited.
We encourage a thoughtful discussion on these changes, and invite you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
In the face of these changes, let’s remember the value of community and mutual support. We will continue to provide updates and clarification on these and other changes to policy as they arise. Your safety and well-being remain our priority.
(Disclaimer: This post is intended to summarize recent policy changes. For advice tailored to your situation, please consult with an immigration expert or refer to the official INZ website.)