Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is shifting many of its services online and these changes could affect your business and staff.
From mid-June 2015, work and visitor visa applications can be submitted through the new online platform, Immigration ONLINE.
But employers cannot, by law, offer immigration advice to applicants.
Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act, only licensed immigration advisers or a specified list of exempt advisers, such as lawyers, are allowed to do this. Breaches can incur substantial penalties.
This means you can complete an applicant’s form under their direction, but you can’t give them advice about any immigration matter, such as:
If you are completing an applicant’s form under their direction and are asked for immigration advice, refer the applicant to a licensed immigration adviser or exempt adviser. A list of licensed advisers is available on the Immigration Advisers Authority website (external link)
Passport-free applications and label-less visas will initially be available to:
Note: people from visa-waiver countries do not need to apply for a visa before travelling to New Zealand.
The next stage of eVisas will be available later in 2015 for:
This means there may be no physical visa in a candidate’s passport. If a candidate states they have an eVisa and you need to check whether they can work in New Zealand, use INZ’s VisaView tool (external link) .
This will result in faster turnarounds. However, all INZ medicals required in New Zealand now need to be done through specific clinics (external link) . This will affect a large number of migrant workers, so please inform relevant employees. Migrants applying offshore who are required to complete INZ medicals will also need to see an approved panel physician.