Friday, 24 May 2024 17:49

Farmers win changes to migrant worker visa regulations

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Federated Farmers immigration spokesman Richard McIntyre. Federated Farmers immigration spokesman Richard McIntyre.

Farmers are claiming a victory in their fight against new Accredited Employment Work Visa (AEWV) changes announced by the Government last month.

Federated Farmers claim that Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has agreed to changes that will help farmers get migrant staff on farm.

In an email to Feds members today, vice president and immigration spokesman Richard McIntyre said they have been fighting hard to get staff in for the calving season.

“Our pressure has paid off, with the Immigration Minister agreeing to changes that will help employers get migrant staff on-farm,” he says.

“We’ve also worked with Immigration NZ to create a comprehensive guide to help farmers navigate this work visa process. “In the long-term, we’re working to ensure there are improvements to the AEWV system that work for our farming employers and their teams.”

Last month, McIntyre said the changes “have caused a lot of concern and confusion”.

Many farmers rely on migrant workers to work on dairy farms and orchards. McIntyre claims the changes came into force immediately and will make things a lot harder for farmers who are trying to bring in staff from oversees.

The changes announced last month included a shorter visa length of two years with a maximum continuous stay period of three years, and the introduction of a 12-month stand-down period at the end of the visa. There are also new minimum requirements when it comes to skills, work experience, advertising roles, and engaging with Work and Income.

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