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New Zealand makes key visa changes to fill skill shortages

Changes for former Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers

Former RSE workers who are still in New Zealand on flexible limited visas enabling them to work part time and do non-RSE work, will now be able to ‘re-enter’ the RSE Scheme and work for RSE employers in the horticulture and viticulture industries with 30 hours per week average pay guaranteed.

The expectation is that RSE workers will be prioritised for horticulture and viticulture roles.

Changes for Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) visa holders

WHS visa holders who are still in New Zealand with visas expiring between 1 October 2020 and March 2021, will be automatically granted Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visas.

This will allow them to work until 30 June 2021 in horticulture and viticulture seasonal roles where there are not enough New Zealanders available to do the work. SSE visa holders will only be able to work in certain roles, for certain employers, in certain regions for certain periods of time.

Visitors, students and other work visa holders can apply for an SSE visa and will have the same work rights as those being granted by special direction.

The Government has also announced new border closure exceptions for people in the agricultural and horticultural sectors.

If you would like to understand more about your visa requirements or work rights contact us directly.

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