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INZ fires a salvo- towards stopping Migrant exploitation

We are all aware of the Migrant exploitation and the trials and tribulations of young folks who may have borrowed thousands of dollars to come to NZ. Our media has been rampant with these traumatic stories and photos lately on this.

They have announced the following changes-

Support package for Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa holders

Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa (MEPV) holders may be eligible for a short-term basic financial, welfare, and job search support. The support is available until March 2024, or until MEPV holders find a suitable job and move to an Accredited Employer Work Visa, leave New Zealand, change visas or their MEPV expires. The support package ends in March, regardless of when MEPV holders apply.

The support includes accommodation and living cost payments of around $50 per day. The amount depends on individual circumstances, such as where someone lives and if they have dependents.

Additional six-month MEPV to become available

Migrants will be able to apply for a second MEPV, providing them more time to search for a job. The second visa will be up to six months, or up to the expiry date of their original work visa, whichever is lesser. Applicants need to meet the visa requirements and demonstrate they have made reasonable efforts to find a job that would qualify them for an Accredited Employer Work Visa.

They do not need to make a second exploitation report to Employment New Zealand. A check will be carried out to ensure the claim continues to meet the initial assessment of genuine, based on information held by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

End of 90-day trials for AEWV employees

From late October, employers will need to commit to not using 90-day trial periods when hiring an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) holder. They will make this commitment as part of any Job Checks they apply for, and when they apply for or renew their accreditation. Any use of 90-day trials after making this commitment may result in accreditation being revoked.

A Job Check application will be declined if the employment agreement submitted with it includes a trial period clause. This will apply to Job Checks that are assessed from late October 2023, regardless of when they are submitted. It will not apply to already-approved Job Checks, or to migrants who already hold or who have applied for an AEWV.

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