Untitled design - 2020-12-06T041246.538.

Pathway to residence maintained for eligible migrant workers

Updated: Dec 10, 2020


A Work To Resident (WTR) visa holder must continue to meet the conditions of their WTR visa, to be eligible for residence.

The Accredited Employer Category allows applicants with an offer of employment from an accredited employer, to be granted a WTR visa, if the job is paid above the minimum salary threshold.

The South Island Contribution (SIC) visa, was available to migrants who have been employed for five years or more in the South Island, while holding an Essential Skills work visa. They needed to be employed in the same industry and region listed on their visa to be eligible for residence.

What’s new?

The Government is making changes to allow some WTR visa holders to maintain their pathway to residence.

The change has been brought about as some accredited employers may not have renewed their accreditation, or some employees have lost their employment and are not able to work in their stated employment conditions anymore.

What is the change?

From Monday 28 September 2020 the changes will allow:

  • a subsequent WTR visa to be granted where the applicant is older than 55 years (the current limit);

  • a subsequent WTR (Accredited Employer) visa to be granted where the applicant’s employer is no longer accredited;

  • SIC work visa holders to vary the industry or region specified on their visa to another industry or region in the South Island if they have lost their employment.

Talent-Accredited Employer visa holders

  • A subsequent WTR visa may now be granted to affected applicants.

  • The applicant must continue to work for the same employer, for at least the same minimum base salary, on which their residence application is based.

SIC visa holders

SIC visa holders who have found new employment due to COVID-19, can now apply for a variation of conditions, to change to another industry or region in the South Island (but not both) and maintain their pathway to residence.

Who does this apply to?

You may be eligible if you currently hold a WTR visa in one of the categories listed below:

  • Talent (Accredited Employer);

  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports);

  • Long Term Skills Shortage List; and

  • South Island Contribution.


If you think that you are eligible, get in touch with us, and get professional assistance with your application.