ITP Techblog

Brought to you by IT Professionals NZ
« Back to ITP News

The immigration rebalance and what it means for tech workers and employers

Peter Griffin, Editor. 12 July 2022, 3:54 pm

Relief is on the horizon for tech firms hit by a talent shortage that is yet to let up despite our borders reopening.

The Government has introduced the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), a new immigration policy for employers looking to employ migrant workers. It includes a ‘green list’ of “highly-skilled, hard-to-fill” occupations which employers won’t have to advertise for to prove local workers can’t be found to fill the roles.

That green list features roles including chief information officer, ICT project manager, software engineer and ICT security specialist which have a minimum salary requirement of $57.69 per hour, which equates to around $120,000 as an annual salary. An additional role of multimedia specialist has a slightly lower minimum salary of $45.67 per hour, or around $95,000 per year.

Screenshot 2022-07-12 at 3.37.13 PM.png

Source: Immigration New Zealand

In a webinar hosted by IT Professionals last week, Immigration New Zealand officials outlined the streamlined process employers and migrant workers face as we return to something resembling life before Covid arrived and froze immigration processes.

“This whole process is tipped it upside down and basically see it's more the responsibility of the employer to have that job check approved,” said Carl Andrews, relationship manager at Immigration New Zealand.

A three-stage system to support the new scheme kicked off on May 23 with employers able to submit an application to become accredited with Immigration New Zealand.

“You don't have to become accredited until you're looking to recruit somebody from offshore or if you've got somebody already working for you and they're on an essential skills work visa or a work to residence visa,” Andrews told webinar viewers.

Screenshot 2022-07-12 at 3.38.17 PM.png

Source: Immigration New Zealand

From June 20th, employers have been able to seek a ‘job check’, which involves Immigration New Zealand determining whether the role meets the work visa or green list criteria.

“Once [job check] is approved then you're free to recruit migrant workers, knowing full well that you've been given approval to recruit for that particular role,” said Andrews.

The good news for the tech sector is that its high median wages do away with the process of having to advertise roles locally before seeking migrants to fill them. But employers will still need to submit a job check and can do so for several positions at once.

Screenshot 2022-07-12 at 3.38.07 PM.png

Source: Immigration New Zealand

“If, for argument's sake, you needed maybe six software engineers, you can apply for those six roles or with the one job check,” said Immigration New Zealand relationship manager Craig Walsh. 

“For those people that meet the criteria, it certainly can be a bit more attractive in terms of coming to New Zealand because they can be eligible for residence pretty much straight away,” he added.

Migrants have been able to apply for work visas since July 4 and Immigration New Zealand expects to have the first wave of visas processed in August. The Government earlier this year created a visa exemption allowing for up to 600 tech workers to come to New Zealand to ease the skills shortage.

Andrews said that exemption would likely now be phased out in favour of the new scheme.

Families welcome too

As with the migrant visa policy prior to Covid, eligible applicants will be able to bring a spouse or partner and children with them to New Zealand.

Andrews said the aim of the scheme was to “use immigration to increase productivity and to have a higher wage economy”.

He advised all employers to carefully read the requirements for accreditation and job checks and understand the fees involved.

ITP members who registered for the webinar can log into MyEvents to replay the webinar and slides, which are invaluable resources for anyone in the tech sector looking to recruit from overseas at the moment.

Find out more about Immigration New Zealand’s Accredited Employer Work Visa here.


You must be logged in in order to post comments. Log In

Web Development by The Logic Studio