Foreign workers hoping to get jobs in Canterbury, New Zealand, as part of the major post earthquake reconstruction programme could be disappointed. A new visa rule has come into effect which means that New Zealanders are first in line for job vacancies which will only go to overseas workers if the positions cannot be filled.
The rule change affects most jobs in Canterbury, including trades, clerical and manual jobs but it does not affect highly skilled occupations, or occupations on the Canterbury Skills Shortage List. ‘The new rule means visa applications to fill most jobs in Canterbury won’t be processed until a check has been done to ensure there are no suitable New Zealanders to fill the vacancy,’ said Immigration Minister Nathan Guy.
‘The rule also benefits employers because it streamlines the visa process. Employers will know sooner if a visa application for a migrant worker is likely to succeed,’ he added.Under the change employers must register vacancies for trades, clerical and manual occupations in Canterbury with the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub before they support a visa application for a migrant to fill the vacancy. ‘If there are suitable New Zealanders available to do the job, the Skills Hub will help put the employer in touch with these candidates. If there are not, the Skills Hub will confirm this in a letter that can be sent to Immigration New Zealand along with a visa application for a migrant to be considered to fill the vacancy,’ explained Guy.
‘The letter means Immigration New Zealand will no longer perform a labour market check, including a referral to Work and Income, as this job will already have been performed by the Skills Hub. This will speed up the visa processing time for employers and help towards the rebuild effort,’ he added.Employers can register their vacancies online and staff at the Canterbury Skills Hub and Immigration New Zealand branches worldwide will work with employers to help them adapt to the new rule.
January 29, 2013