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Immigration Adviser Newsletter

Contact Marty Logan – December 2020

Hello and welcome to the new Pitt & Moore eNewsletter – License to Advise. We’ll be sharing insights, changes and critical information relevant to Immigration Advisers across New Zealand and beyond.

In our first newsletter, we’re reflecting on some news, highlighting a recent case study from the Advisers Tribunal, and looking at some stories that affect Advisers.

2020 – A Year Like No Other!

It almost doesn’t need to be said that it’s been a challenging year for all of us in the immigration space. Not least of all with the COVID- and governmental portfolio-related changes we’ve seen, especially in the last six to nine months, which are a major feature of this newsletter.
Within our borders, the Hon Phil Twyford has now taken up the role of Associate Minister of Immigration under the returning Minister of Immigration Hon Kris Faafoi, which may result in a different approach to the consideration of ministerial intervention requests. We’ll be watching closely and will advise on any noticeable trends.
At the beginning of November, we attended the NZAMI seminar in Auckland and shared learnings and insights with other Immigration Advisers. Of particular interest to the attendees this year was the focussed discussion on the complexities surrounding Parent Retirement Resident Visa, Investor 1 and Investor 2 Category Resident Visas and the ability to prove to INZ the source of funds for these types of applications. If you are also grappling with this issue its worthwhile to speak with an experienced colleague to see what has worked for them or to reach out to us for advice, as we have expertise in this area.
Going forward, if you have any suggestions as to what you’d like to see reaching your inboxes with each newsletter, then please reach out to us via this dedicated mailbox – immigration@pittandmoore.co.nz. We’d love to hear your feedback, comments, queries and suggestions as to how we can best help Immigration Advisers.
The role of a lawyer is not to know all the answers all of the time (an impossible goal), but rather to know where or how to find the answers, to provide objective advice and to shoulder some of the worry. So, my message to you all in a nutshell – if you have an issue that’s troubling you even only a little, call your lawyer to talk it through. We’re here to help in whatever way we can.
Marty Logan

What’s ahead for immigration globally?

With the promising news of effective COVID-19 vaccines being developed, and the Government’s announcement of an in-principle purchase agreement of 5 million vaccines (pending Medsafe and other approvals), we’re anticipating some big changes to how people move about the world in 2021 and beyond.

From the Tribunal: IK v Tian [2020] NZIACDT 47

In each newsletter we will be looking at a recent decision of the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal, or any associated Court decisions, to highlight any learnings or warnings for advisers.
In this issue we review a Tribunal decision involving an adviser who fell short of reasonable professional standards of communication.
If you are ever uncertain as to how to handle a particular immigration matter or resolve a conflict or a complaint with a client feel free to reach out to us for advice.

News & Articles that matter

In each newsletter we’ll mention some of the other critical news and articles that has been affecting our industry lately.

Special border entry exceptions granted by the Government to date

So far, special exceptions have been granted for 30 veterinarians, up to 570 deep water fishing crew, 210 agricultural mobile plant operators, 250 PhD and post-graduate students, 100 people with “essential” reasons to travel through New Zealand to the Pacific, 2,770 critical health workers, 60 shearers and most recently, up to 2,000 RSE workers to come to NZ during 2021.

Government Allocates Additional $25M in COVID-19 Business Support

Business owners can now access up to $5,000 (excl. GST) per business from the COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund to go towards expert advice and support from a range of providers and services including legal advice.
Funding is available through the Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network (register here); businesses already registered with the RBP should contact their RBP Growth Adviser or local RBP Partner organization.

Oversupply and Undersupply: Changes to the Skills Match Report Process

From Wednesday, 7 October 2020, the process for hiring migrant workers under the Essential Skills Work Visa category changed according to oversupply and undersupply of roles. Read more here.

Skilled Migrant Category in The Time of Covid-19

The lockdown and virtual closure of INZ during March to May 2020 exacerbated an already massive backlog of skilled migrant category (SMC) residence applications. One of INZ’s responses to COVID-19 was to indefinitely suspend selection of Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from the EOI pool. Read more here.

New Border Entry Exemption Category Opens the Door for Eligible Visa Holders

On 9 October 2020, our Government created a new border exception category that will enable the return of some temporary work visa holders who are overseas and have strong and ongoing links to New Zealand. Read more here.

Meet the team: Nick Mason, Partner – Employment

There aren’t many in the business that know employment law like Nick Mason, one of our Partners here at Pitt & Moore.

Having gained experience as a Workplace Relations Adviser with the State Services Commission in Wellington, Nick specialises in working with clients on matters of employment including the review and preparation of employment agreements, disciplinary meetings, personal grievances, mediation support and restraints of trade, as well as advice on restructuring businesses.
“We’ve found that INZ are now looking closely at Availability Clauses in Employment Agreements submitted to them as part of Work Visa applications, which are tricky to get right,” notes Nick.
“While legally anyone can give employment advice, we don’t recommend Immigration Advisers dabble in this area if they don’t have actual expertise in this field,” he says. “It’s critical to get Employment Agreements right – especially for visa applications including Work Visas and Skilled Migrant Category Applications.”
Nick’s busy focussing his energies on delivering results for his clients in the wake of COVID-19, which has resulted in many workplaces needing to modify employment agreements to undertake different ways of working – including temporary reductions in work hours or lower rates of pay, or to restructure in some form.
It’s vital to keep written employment agreements up to date, including documenting any changes that affect rates of pay or hours worked, meeting legislative and any relevant contractual requirements for changing employment arrangements, or complying with all minimum standards legislation and with the Employment Relations Act 2000.
“Things are moving quickly, and you need the right information and support if you want to give advice and not get into trouble.”
Nick’s built a strong reputation within the employment and immigration industries, and is noted for his practical approach and ability to achieve results. Feel free to contact him for employment related advice – call 03 545 7897 or email Nick.Mason@pittandmoore.co.nz.

From our office

With 2020 drawing to a close, it’s almost time for all of us to step away from our keyboards and unplug for a couple of weeks. The holiday season is the perfect time for everyone to soak up some cheer and enjoy whatever the summer has for us.
Our offices will be closed from 5pm on Wednesday, 23rd December 2020 and will reopen on Monday, 11th of January 2021 at 8.30am. Limited staff will be available to assist with property, estates, employment and immigration matters from Wednesday, 6th of January 2021.
We wish you all safe and happy holidays and hope you have a fresh bold start to 2021.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.