Transport Sector Agreement details confirmed and more occupations added to the Green List

Transport Sector Agreement details confirmed

Work to residence pathway

The Minister of Immigration and Transport has confirmed details of the Transport Sector Agreement for bus drivers, truck drivers and critical maritime transport workers. 

The agreement provides that from 29 September 2023, bus drivers, truck drivers, ship’s masters (skippers) and deck hands will be able to apply for residence under the Green List Work to Residence category.  

Migrants working in the above roles must meet the stipulated eligibility requirements including having worked in their occupation for at least 24 months in New Zealand.  

The agreement is uncapped and will be reviewed after 12 months.

Median wage exemption for bus drivers

Employers recruiting bus drivers can take advantage of a median wage exemption set at $28 an hour.  This exemption is effective immediately.

To be eligible for the exemption, the role must either:

  • be for an employer who has signed the All Parties Memorandum of Understanding on Improving Bus Driver Pay and Conditions, or
  • be as a school bus driver on a Ministry of Education-funded school bus service.

Bus drivers hired under the sector agreement will be eligible for a 3-year Accredited Employer Work visa which will allow them enough time to apply for residence after meeting the requirement to have at least 24 months of work experience in New Zealand.

Green List additions

Additions to Tier 1 and 2 occupations

Immigration New Zealand has confirmed that the addition of the following occupational groups to the Green List Residence pathway, which was initially announced in December 2022, will occur on 29 May 2023:

Tier 1 – Straight to Residence:

External AuditorInternal Auditor

The above Tier 1 occupation will allow eligible migrants with current employment or an offer of employment in that occupation to qualify for the Straight to Residence pathway under the suite of Skilled Migrant Residence visas that came into force in September 2022.  Potential applicants must meet any qualification, registration or remuneration thresholds as stipulated for their occupation in order to qualify for residence (in addition to English language, health and character requirements).

Tier 2 – Work to Residence:

Civil Construction SupervisorsGasfitters
DrainlayersSkilled Crane Operators
Skilled Civil Machine OperatorsHalal Slaughterers
Skilled Motor MechanicsSkilled Telecommunications Technicians
Primary school teachersAll secondary teachers not already included

From 29 September 2023 eligible migrants working in the above Tier 2 occupations will be able to apply for residence after working in their skilled occupation for at least 24 months in New Zealand.  As with the Tier 1 occupations, potential applicants must meet any qualification, registration or remuneration thresholds as stipulated for their occupation throughout the 24-month period, in addition to meeting English language, health and character requirements.

Accreditation Employer Compliance Checks

Immigration New Zealand has announced that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will commence compliance checks to confirm that Accredited Employers are meeting their obligations under the Accredited Employer policy.

Approximately 15% of accredited employers will be checked each year.  Any employer may be selected as Immigration New Zealand is using selection criteria designed to get a representative sample of New Zealand employers.  The checks can be either desk-based or through site visits.

MBIE may request the following information when carrying out their compliance checks:

  • financial statements to show financial viability
  • evidence of PAYE payments to migrant employees
  • evidence of payment by employers to offshore recruitment agents of their migrant employees
  • hiring dates of migrant employees
  • evidence that employers have provided settlement information to their migrant employees
  • logs of hours worked by migrant workers
  • information on key persons involved in the employers business and their role.

If you have any questions on the updates provided or would like to discuss the new changes further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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