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Essential Skills work visas and temporary migrants: guidance for New Zealand hospitality sector employers

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Immigration New Zealand have updated guidance for hospitality businesses on Essential Skills work visas. This updated information is intended to help you and your employees understand, plan for, and comply with New Zealand’s changing immigration environment.

Many staff within our hospitality industry hold temporary work visas. Of these, the visa type currently likely to be of most interest to employers is the employer-assisted Essential Skills work visa.

For the immediately foreseeable future, international tourism will be severely limited and unemployment is predicted to rise. In July 2020, many Essential Skills work visa holders were granted a six-month extension. This was a short-term measure and even allowing for the extension, it is expected that large numbers of current Essential Skills work visas will expire in the first six months of 2021. As an employer, you need to understand how the visa system works and to understand the new criteria that apply when applications are assessed.

Download the updated Immigration New Zealand essential skills guidance here.

The Restaurant Association are also in ongoing discussions with the Government and Immigration New Zealand regarding current recruitment challenges for our member businesses and the issues we are predicting when our workers on essential skills visas have their visas expire.

A free webinar on The Future of Hiring Migrant Workers, presented by Restaurant Association Helpline advisor, Aynaz Nowparvar is on 24th November. More information on this webinar is available here.

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