Working holiday, seasonal work visas to be extended

Source: 1 NEWS

The Government will extend working holiday visas and seasonal work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced.

The workers will come from the Pacific, and their employers will have to pay them at least $22.10 an hour.

“This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going into this summer’s harvest season and which we said we’d provide, if necessary, back in June when we announced the last six month extension,” Faafoi said.

Over 8,500 people on working holiday visas and seasonal work visas due to expire between 21 December and 30 June 2022 will benefit from the six month extension.

They will also continue to have open work rights, allowing them to work in any sector to help meet labour market demands where they exist.

“With borders remaining closed until the first quarter next year it’s important we ensure employers can retain their existing workforce for the upcoming summer period.

“It will allow employers across a range of industries to make use of the onshore workforce while our border restrictions are in place, but it’s important to remember that these extensions are only temporary measures.

“We remain committed to our long-term vision for New Zealand’s immigration system, which involves sectors moving away from a reliance on low-paid and low-skilled migrant workers and transitioning to new ways of attracting, training and upskilling Kiwis into jobs and investing in productivity measures that will support New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery.

Immigration New Zealand will contact all visa holders eligible for the working holiday or seasonal visa extension by the end of November.