Pacific Legal Covid 19 Visa Update 9 October 2020:
Important changes for onshore employer supported work visas and work to residence

Post Covid19, change seems to be the only constant in immigration. Since our September update, there have been further changes.   There are likely to be further changes over the coming months. Check our website and for details.


Skills Match reports: changes for employers and work visa applicants: new under-supply and over-supply lists.

It is important for employers and their employees to be aware that the Government is streamlining the Skills Match Report process effective 7th October 2020 until early 2021. This Report is often needed with some work visa applications processed under the Essential Skills category. COVID-19 has presented a unique set of challenges for New Zealand jobseekers, employers and temporary work visa holders. Regional impacts vary, but there are more people looking for work.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has created lists of occupations and regions where there is a clear over or undersupply of New Zealanders on Job Seeker Support. These are new concepts.


Undersupply of New Zealand job seekers

For occupations and regions where there is an undersupply of New Zealand job seekers, employers no longer need a Skills Match Report for roles paying below the national median wage, currently $25.50 an hour.

Employers can support a migrant work visa application if they can show they have genuinely and publicly advertised the role so New Zealanders looking for work are likely to have seen it.

Roles that are undersupplied


Oversupply of New Zealand job seekers

New Zealand’s immigration system is designed to ensure that New Zealanders are first in line for jobs, then enabling access to migrant workers where there is a genuine need that cannot be met.

For occupations and regions on the oversupply list, there are New Zealand job seekers on Job Seeker Support available. Employers can move straight to engaging with MSD to recruit New Zealand job seekers.

Roles that are oversupplied


No clear oversupply or undersupply

There is no change to the process for occupations and regions that are not on either the over or undersupply lists. A Skills Match Report is still required before an employer can hire a migrant earning below the national median wage, currently $25.50 an hour.


Changes for work to residence (talent and accredited employer) visa holders affected by residence processing delays

From 28 September 2020 a subsequent work to residence visa may now be granted for an applicant who has a current Residence from Work application in progress for an employer who is no longer accredited, provided they are continuing to work for the same employer and for at least the same minimum base salary level on which their residence application is based. This further visa is only available while the residence application is in progress, for a maximum of 24 months.

The above is general information only. You should seek qualified advice based on your own circumstances before acting on it.

Pacific legal is very well-placed to assist with all Immigration related matters. Contact us at, by phone at +64 9 666 0440 or through our website for more details.

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