Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has revised the Migrant Exploitation Protection work visa (MEPV), an open work visa that allows migrant workers to leave abusive employment situations.
The revised rules will allow existing original MEPV holders to apply for new MEPVs if they cannot find suitable employment.
To further support exploited migrants, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has made changes to the Migrant Exploitation Protection (MEPV) work visa.
New regulations coming into force in the last week of October will allow current MEPV holders to first apply for a new MEPV if they cannot find suitable work.
A free-of-charge visa service, the MEPV allows up to six months of stay and the processing time is ‘high priority’.
With this visa, an exploited migrant worker can
- Leave your current job quickly while the exploitation is being investigated.
- Work anywhere in New Zealand for any employer.
Report of exploitation assessed:
Before applying for this visa, the applicant must have his/her report of exploitation assessed by Employment New Zealand and have been given a Report of Exploitation Assessment letter.
- Apply for this visa within 1 month of receiving a Report of Exploitation Assessment letter
- You do not have to pay fees or supply medical or police certificates to apply for this visa
- This visa will be granted for up to 6 months depending on the time remaining on your current visa
- You cannot include your partner or dependent children in your visa application, but they can apply for visas based on their relationship to you.
Applicants may be granted a further MEPV for the lesser of:
- 12 months from the date their initial MEPV began, or
- the expiry of their original employer specific work visa. This duration will ensure that an individual’s overall time in New Zealand remains within their original work visa.
- Applicants must show that they have made a genuine attempt to find employment while holding their initial MEPV, and that the roles they looked at are similar to the one on their original work visa
- The pay rate for the roles must meet Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) requirements
Evidence needed for a further MEPV application:
An applicant needs evidence for their further MEPV application, which could include:
- correspondence with a potential employer about a job application
- screenshots of job search showing applications submitted, or
- job advertisements with confirmation of applications submitted.
Their evidence must show all the following:
- employer’s name
- dates of correspondence or applications for jobs
- role offered and the pay.
Rights of a migrant worker
A migrant worker has the same minimum rights as any other worker in New Zealand when it comes to:
- work breaks
- written employment agreements
Apply for a Dismissed Worker Visitor Visa:
If you are dismissed during your work trial period, you can apply for a Dismissed Worker Visitor Visa.
- Length of stay is 3 months
- Application fee is NZD$211
- You cannot work on this visa, but you can use the time to find a job and apply for a work visa
- In your application, you can include a partner and dependent children aged 19 years and younger