New Zealand is making it harder to get a skilled work visa, reports eTNW

Changes to the country’s classification of a ‘skilled worker’ are set to be implemented. These changes aim to encourage employers in New Zealand to employ more locals.

The biggest change is that employers will need to provide a minimum income of NZ$49 000 for a migrant worker to be classified as ‘skilled’. Migrant workers earning more than NZ$73 000 will be classified as ‘highly skilled’. Anything less and the worker will not be able to get access to a skilled work visa.

On top of this, there will be a new three-year limit for workers on temporary visas. Once the temporary visa has expired, the migrant worker will then be subject to a “minimum stand-down period” before they can apply for a new visa. 

This comes a day after Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that the country would scrap the popular 457 visa. The visa, which ran for up to four years, attracted skilled temporary foreign workers and allowed them to bring family members along on a secondary 457 visa. 

It will be replaced by a new temporary visa, which will have additional requirements, including previous work experience and good English language proficiency.

The new changes will make it harder for migrant workers to find work in both New Zealand and Australia.