Global immigration news

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following updates from New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

New Zealand: New 2021 Resident Visa

On 30 September 2021, the Government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand.

Some critical purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term visas may also be eligible for this new visa. Partners and dependents can be included as part of these residence applications.

Applications will be open in two phases from 1 December 2021 for some eligible applicants and from 1 March 2022 for remaining eligible applicants.  All applications must be submitted by 31 July 2022.

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and
  • be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.
  • Applicants must also meet one of the following three criteria:
    • have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, or
    • earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour), or
    • work in a role on a scarce list.

Applicants who meet the criteria for eligibility but are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by 29 September 2021, may be considered eligible.

The list of eligible visas are as follows:

  • Post Study Work Visa
  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Religious Worker Work Visa
  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa
  • Trafficking Victim Work Visa
  • Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa
  • Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Work Visa
  • Victims of Family Violence Work Visa
  • South Island Contribution Work Visa
  • Work Visa granted under Section 61 (provided the applicant held another eligible visa type within 6 months before being granted a Section 61 visa)
  • Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV):
  • Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and
  • Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months).
  • Short-term visa holders are not eligible, such as visitors, students, working holiday makers, and seasonal workers like those on the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme or those who enter as short-term critical workers.

Partners and dependent children, including those currently outside New Zealand, can be included in residence applications.

All applicants must meet the heath and character requirements for the 2021 Resident Visa. Overseas police certificates will not be required unless specifically requested by an Immigration Officer. Limited medical certificates and chest x-ray certificates may be required for some people. Immigration New Zealand may request further information as part of the application process.

Application process:

From 1 December 2021 applicants can apply if:

  • they have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work categories before 29 September 2021, or
  • they have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, and have included their dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.

From 1 March 2022 all other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.

Applications can be submitted online and must be submitted by 31 July 2022. It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 12 months.

Australia: Updated COVID-19 travel guidance

The Australian government has announced that, starting in November 2021, entry will again be permitted for Australian citizens and permanent residents.

  • Travellers who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Australia or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) will be subject to seven-day home quarantine.
  • Travellers who are unvaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine that is not approved or recognised by the TGA are subject to 14-day managed quarantine. A cap will apply to these arrivals.
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated – for example if they are under 12 or have a medical condition – will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.

States and territories will begin this programme at different times given their varying vaccination rates.

The current COVID-19 related outbound travel restrictions will be removed and Australians will be able to travel subject to any other travel advice and limits, as long as they are fully vaccinated and subject to the border settings of the destination country.

Facilitated flights will be available into any state that agrees to commence seven-day home quarantine trials for returning Australians.

The TGA now recognises the Coronavac (Sinovac) and Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India) vaccines as well as Pfizer (Comirnaty), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Moderna (Spikevax) and Janssen.

Canada: Work permits for temporary foreign workers

It is again possible for eligible applicants to apply for a work permit at the port of entry. This was not possible earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants must firstly be eligible to enter Canada during COVID-19 travel restrictions with an electronic travel authorisation or without a visitor visa. This includes:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals;
  • Family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days;
  • Those whose work permit expired while they were outside Canada;
  • Temporary foreign workers with a valid job offer in Canada.

Temporary foreign workers are allowed to apply for a port-of-entry work permit if they are nationals or permanent residents of the United States, Greenland or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, or if they do not need a temporary resident visa to work in Canada.

Temporary foreign workers whose job is covered by the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and who require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) must present a positive or neutral LMIA at the border along with their job offer and proof of experience and/or qualifications.

Those whose job is covered by the International Mobility Program (IMP) need to present proof that they do not require an LMIA.

Questions about global immigration?

If you would like advice on current entry restrictions for your destination country, or assistance with any other area of immigration, Smith Stone Walters would be delighted to help.

To speak to a member of our global immigration team, please contact us today.

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