NEW ZEALAND: Changes to Residence Processing Priority Rules

March 2, 2020

Effective 24 February 2020, applications under the Residence for Work (RFW) programme will no longer be prioritized over those under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC).

Applications will now only be prioritized where an applicant requires professional registration or earns at least twice the New Zealand median wage (currently NZD 106,080 per year).

Processing times for RFW applications are therefore likely to increase, and temporary entry visas may need to be renewed while the applicant is waiting for a residence decision.

Our Advice

Employers are advised to prepare and submit residence applications as soon as possible, and employees should be prepared to renew their temporary entry visas due to extended RFW processing times.

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to New Zealand, please contact us.