Essential Skills Visas – Things to Bear in Mind

Do you have a work skill or qualification that is in demand in New Zealand?


This may qualify you for a work visa. However, it is not automatic and you will not be able to displace a potential job for a New Zealand citizen.


It is important to realise that an “Essential skills” visa is different from “Skilled migrant” visa. The latter visa provides a pathway to residence which essential skills does not.


Essential skills visa’s are designed to fill any unavailability of skills in the market place by using foreign workers. To that end the employer will have to demonstrate that they have advertised extensively and cannot find any NZ citizen workers to fill the position.


I recently had a German worker who had been in NZ for some years and who possessed extensive qualifications and experience in metal forming and sheet metal work. His employer was involved in stainless fabrication, some of which went to export orders. He was having difficulty in finding suitable workers. He advertised and obtained a skills match report from Work and Income NZ (WINZ). There were no applications except from school leavers with no skills. The employer already had three apprentices on the staff and required skilled workers to complement and train the apprentices.


The case was presented to Immigration and a 3 year work visa granted.


However, at the end of the three years the worker will have to apply again going through the same process. Renewal of his visa will not be automatic as the market and the employers situation may have changed. Each application is a new and must cover all the requirements. It is not simply a renewal of the old visa.


Borderlaw have a lot of experience in gaining essential skills visas. Call us today to discuss your situation.