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Changes to Essential Skills Work Visa Instructions for SMC applicants

Good News for applicants for work visas under Essential Skills work instructions where an applicant is awaiting a Skilled Migrant Category decision

Effective from 17 November 2014:

An applicant may be granted an Essential Skills work visa, valid for 12 months, without an immigration officer being satisfied that there are no New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders available to do the work offered if they:

i. currently hold a temporary work visa; and
ii. have applied for an Essential Skills work visa; and
iii. meet all other requirements of Essential Skills work visa instructions; and either
iv. have been issued an Invitation to Apply under the Skilled Migrant Category for the role they are currently employed in and they retain the ability to apply ; or
v. have applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and that application has not been completed.

b. One further Essential Skills work visa, valid for six months, may be granted in exceptional circumstances to an applicant who continues to meet the requirements above.


Cricket World Cup visa period announced

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced a 10-week window will apply to the Trans-Tasman visa agreement for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

“From 26 January to 5 April 2015, cricket fans and other visitors to Australia and New Zealand will only need to apply for one visa under a new Trans-Tasman Visa Arrangement,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Over this period, New Zealand will grant a three month visitor visa on arrival to those who already hold an acceptable Australian visa. This will make it easier for cricket fans to follow their team in both countries, and encourage those who may not have planned to visit New Zealand, to do so.

“We’re sending the message to everyone coming for the Cricket World Cup, that the only barrier between you, and a fantastic New Zealand experience, is your plane ticket.”

The 2015 Cricket World Cup will take place from 14 February to 29 March 2015. An extended window for the visa arrangement will also enable fans to visit New Zealand before or after the official tournament.

In addition to making it easier for international tourists to come to New Zealand for the event, this agreement will also allow people already in Australia on most permanent or temporary visa types to come to New Zealand.

Through the Advance Passenger Processing system used by both countries, Australian and New Zealand authorities will be able to determine if an airline passenger holds an acceptable Australian visa at the time they board their flight.

“The new arrangement will substantially benefit the tourism sector in both countries by streamlining trans-Tasman travel for the Cricket World Cup.”

Mr Woodhouse says international visitors will still be required to meet the respective health, security and character requirements of both countries and each country will retain the right to refuse entry if a visitor does not meet these requirements.

Further information on the arrangement and the Australian visas included in it is available at