Essential HR

Changes to Working Visa Requirements

Changes have taken place from 28 August that have the potential to affect anyone employing staff on a work visa – specifically if they are in the Skilled Migrant or Essential Skills categories.  What has worked for you in the past may not do so now.

The changes seem to favour employing older, more experienced and higher qualified workers; there will be a closer matching of job requirements with ANZSCO occupation descriptions (which may mean some existing approvals cannot get renewals) and remuneration will be assessed across all hours worked – comparing with an hourly rate and not a salary.

Recruiting staff from overseas on a path to residency has just got more difficult and some employers are already attempting to go the “Employer Accreditation” route – although that too has got more stringent it does now offer a 5-year accreditation.

I will not attempt to set out details and am not qualified to give immigration advice, but a good summary of the detailed changes can be found on

Various informative seminars are also taking place – including one run by the Employers’ Chamber on 19th September.