Last Updated on February 23, 2023
- On July 1, 2021, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) announced updates to the Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa. The visa facilitates new pathways for foreign nationals to exit exploitative employment situations.
- New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment is partnering with INZ to share accessible reporting tools. These tools will allow foreign nationals to efficiently report their circumstances.
- Foreign nationals may call the new hotline number (0800 20 00 88) or fill out an online reporting form.
- All claims will be processed by INZ upon receipt.
To file a claim, foreign nationals must possess a valid temporary work visa. The temporary work visa must support New Zealand-based employment. After a claim is submitted, INZ will review and determine next steps. If INZ wishes to pursue the claim further, foreign nationals will receive a request for additional information. The request will include a ‘Report of Exploitation’ letter template and application instructions.
If approved, the Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa will be valid for six months. It will allow foreign nationals to leave exploitative circumstances whilst retaining valid immigration status. During the granted six months, foreign nationals may pursue subsequent New Zealand-based employment.
What are the Changes?
Following an uptick in exploitation reports last year, INZ has expanded protections for foreign nationals. See INZ releases regarding unlawful and exploitative labor market cases here.
INZ has raised the stakes to protect foreign nationals, especially as the workforce bounces back post-pandemic. Employers with New Zealand-based employees should ensure their working circumstances are lawful and supportive. Employers should ensure that all branches, subsidiaries, and satellite facilities in New Zealand are compliant.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.