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Work visa conditions

21 December 2020

On Sunday 20 December, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced several visa changes, including a six month extension to Working Holiday visas. Anyone on a Working Holiday visa can now work in any job without restrictions, and won’t have to change their visa to an SSE visa.
This change opens the door to up to 13,000 Working Holiday visa holders to the industry but means that they can work in any industry, meaning there will be high demand for these workers. 
There are approximately 2100 overseas workers who have already transferred to an SSE visa who will remain on the SSE visa. These visa holders can only work in horticulture and viticulture roles, meaning that these employers who have vacancies on the MSD regions and roles list can employ SSE visa holders. Additionally, any SSE registered employers can still employ SSE visa holders for approved horticulture and viticulture roles. 
People who aren’t on Working Holiday visas (with non-open work rights visas like visitors, employer assisted work visas or students) who are reaching the end of their visa and want to be able to work in New Zealand will still have to apply for an SSE.
This decision is a major reversal from the Minister’s decision back in September. HortNZ has registered bewilderment at this change and along with NZ Apples & Pears, NZKGI and Summerfruit NZ we will collectively work for better immigration settings and conditions.

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