News & Views
Nov 27

Immigrations Law Changes

Partner v visitor visa
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has advised that INZ would return back to their earlier practice of allowing partners who are part of an arranged marriage to come into New Zealand on a visitor visa for the purpose of applying for a further partnership visa. Earlier this year INZ changed its guidelines making it harder for couples who had not been living together to be granted a visitor visa with the intention of living in New Zealand. This left the migrant with no possible visa pathway as they could not apply for a Partner visa due to not living together and could not apply for a visitor visa because they intended to remain in New Zealand.

Operational Policy manager Alejandra Mercado has confirmed that entering into or developing a de facto relationship may be considered a lawful purpose for a visitor. The best practice would be to provide evidence about their relationship when applying for general visitor visas.

By restoring the previous guidelines an applicant would now apply for a visitor visa and then seek a further partnership visa once they can establish that they are living in a genuine and stable relationship.

Employers minimum requirements
Changes to employer-assisted temporary work visas are coming so it is vital that you as an employer know and meet your legal obligations.

You must ensure that your migrant employee meets the legal minimum requirements of working in New Zealand such as paying at least the medium wage and break entitlements. Your employee must be legally entitled to work in New Zealand and if you are seeking to employ further migrants you must ensure that the labour market test has been satisfied.

Failing to comply with any of the minimum standards runs a risk of serious penalties and losing the ability to hire further migrants for up to 2 years.