Stand Down Period for Lower Skilled Foreign Workers Coming Into Play in August 2020

The New Zealand Government is very conscious that their existing stand-down policy is due to come into play in August this year. This means that lower-skilled Essential Skills foreign workers who have worked in New Zealand for three consecutive years, on ‘lower-skilled’ visas issued for 12 months at a time since 28 August 2017, will be subject to a 1-year stand-down period where they must leave New Zealand. Unless, of course, these foreign workers are able to obtain a different type of visa.

The stand-down period will have a range of impacts for New Zealand employers and foreign workers. Many foreign workers may be forced to leave New Zealand as they may not be eligible for any other type of visa. Overall, it will be tougher for all migrants to get work visas in a COVID-19 economic environment.

In anticipation of the stand-down period, Immigration New Zealand have announced that lower skilled temporary healthcare workers, will be given a reprieve in a form of additional 12 months before they would be subject to the stand-down period (i.e. required to leave New Zealand for 1-year period). This change will be implemented with the aim to assist New Zealand to maintain the workforce in the healthcare sector during a critical time.

Immigration New Zealand is yet to issue revised immigration instructions to solidify this change. At this stage, it has also not been indicated which roles would fall within the “healthcare worker” definition. However, we anticipate that these roles may include caregivers, personal carers, nursing support workers, and hospital orderlies.

We will update you as further information comes to light.

Get professional advice

We highly recommend for temporary visa holders who are on their third lower skilled Essential Skills Work Visa (granted after 28 August 2017), to get in touch with us early so we can expertly guide you through your options for remaining in New Zealand.

How Pitt & Moore can help

We offer an initial free consultation to all new clients to discuss your particular circumstances and what services we can provide.

What sets us apart is that we are experts in each step of the immigration process. This means that we can advise on all immigration and visa related issues.

Talk to us

We don’t just advise on the visa requirements, we can ensure that you receive comprehensive legal advice on to all aspects applicable to your particular circumstances, including compliance and employment.

Contact our Immigration Team for professional legal advice that will give you peace of mind.

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.

Topics: All Select

Elly Fleming

Position: Associate
DDI: +64 3 545 6714