15 August 2009
Immigration In the Current Times
Whether you are already residing in New Zealand or are planning a move to New Zealand, you should be aware of the benefits and risks surrounding your application or current permits.
Losing your New Zealand job, as a result of the recession or otherwise may result in you not being eligible to work in another organisation. This can have dire consequences, the worst being that you could face having to leave New Zealand.
A work permit does not carry with it a guarantee for renewal or a guarantee that permanent residency will be granted. A sad fact that some migrants do not completely understand when making the move to New Zealand.
Unemployment in New Zealand is at its highest level since September 2000 with the outlook looking weak until early 2010.
In a July jobs update, www.trademe.co.nz highlighted that the number of applications per job advertised had risen by 50 per cent over the past 12 months.
New Zealand welcomes new migrants – people who will contribute to the country by bringing valuable skills or qualifications, setting up a business, or making a financial investment.
So what options are available to you? Immigrants in New Zealand fall broadly into three categories:
- Those that hold Citizenship
- Those that reside in New Zealand and hold permanent residency
- Those that reside in New Zealand and hold valid work permits
If you currently reside in New Zealand and hold a valid work permit that is about to expire, review your options.
- Are you eligible for permanent residency? If so then this should become your priority. Holding a permanent residency permit places you in a stronger position should you be required to find alternative employment because of downsizing or closing of the organization that sponsored your work permit application.
- Apply for the renewal of your work permit in a timely fashion.
Employers who are unable to find suitable workers in New Zealand and have roles that do not meet the Skilled Migrant or Talent work permit criteria may be able to assist a potential employee in obtaining an Essential Skills work visa or permit. An employer would have to demonstrate that:
- There were no suitable employees in New Zealand.
- They made genuine attempts to attract and recruit New Zealand workers for the positions at the current market salary.
- They provided evidence of advertisements placed, responses received, industry statistics on vacancies and training in place to address shortages.
Work and Income would also be contacted. All of the above takes time, so you need to allow sufficient time when renewing your work permit.
At Quay Law we are often asked to clarify the difference between a visa and a permit? A visa allows a person to travel to the NZ border and a permit allows them to remain in the country. Unless a person has a multiple-entry visa or another single-entry visa, a permit expires when a person leaves the country.
We recommend that you do your homework and consult a professional immigration advisor to ensure that all your requirements pertaining to New Zealand Immigration are adequately addressed. Sometimes this can be as simple as ensuring that your application is completed using the correct application form, a mistake that can cause an unnecessary time delay. Mistakes or shortcuts in this process can have financial and emotional consequences.