LaurentLore Corporate Edition
July 2018
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In This Issue
Successes for ICT Support Staff
New AML Regime
Specific Purpose Visas - a Versatile Tool
New Regime for Post-Study Work Visas
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I signed on with Laurent Law after living in New Zealand for several months. I wanted to stay longer than my visitor's visa permitted because I had fallen in love with the country and with one of its citizens. From our first meeting, Laurent Law treated me and my partner with courtesy and respect as they expertly guided us through the often intricate steps of applying to New Zealand Immigration for a longer stay. I am still here, happily so, thanks in large part to Laurent Law. I wholeheartedly recommend their staff and services to anyone confronting immigration issues.




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Laurent Law Barristers & Solicitors
408 Mt. Eden Road
Mt Eden, Auckland, 1024, New Zealand
Ph.  +64-9-630-0411;  Fax  +64-9-630-0412

Now that the Labour-led Government has settled in, we see a more pragmatic approach to sourcing migrant labour than the drastic slogans during the Election campaign about slashing "long-term migration" by tens of thousands.  On the one hand, policy settings delivered by National are already achieving cuts in the numbers of low-quality Residence applications.  See James Turner's blog which gives food for thought.


On the other, the Government is being pressured to get trades workers in to staff the KiwiBuild programme.  There has been increased interest in apprenticeships to upskill NZ workers, but the fact is that we need fully-trained builders, plumbers and electricians on deck right now.  We'll have to import them.


The pragmatic focus is also playing out in MBIE's more collaborative approach to new policy settings, including engagement with key stakeholders.  Following on from consultations I was involved in over the last 2 years, it seems that the officials recognise they don't have all the answers - or the right ones, anyway. 

You can subscribe to our law firm blog or newsletters to hear up-to-date commentary on trends in the immigration field.
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Yours sincerely
Simon Laurent
Laurent Law Barristers & Solicitors
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Your comments would be appreciated - including questions which you would like answered directly or in a future instalment.
Successes for ICT Support Staff

Late last year we won a set of 16 Appeals against Immigration decisions declining Residence to IT call centre workers.  The Immigration & Protection Tribunal found that Immigration New Zealand has systemically failed to apply its own policy to work out whether the staff were in "skilled employment".
The cases went back to INZ for reassessment.  Our troubles were not over.  The visa officers were repeating the same conceptual errors which led to the Appeals in the first place.  They also claimed that they could not assess the nature of the job without seeing the supply agreement between the employer and its big-ticket corporate client - one of the world's largest IT retailers.

We said that the supply agreement was unnecessary, in light of all the other information now on file.  Furthermore, we argued that it was a confidential and commercially sensitive document relating to a party who had nothing to do with the visa applications. and INZ could not demand it.

In the last 2 weeks we have finally seen the Residence approvals roll in.  Immigration, for whatever reason, capitulated.  It ended a struggle which, for some, had lasted nearly 2 years.  Hats off to Dew James of this office, who led our attack, and who will soon be publishing a blog about the last part of the journey.  Sign up to see this when it comes out.
New AML Regime

From 1 July 2018 law firms became subject to the Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism rules which banks and other institutions already apply.  We rigorously developed our own AML Programme in order to be compliant.

What does this mean for you?  Mainly, it means that you should not be offended if we don't accept cash payments (at all), and if we insist that you or your employees must use your own credit cards to pay third-party costs such as visa application fees.  The alternative is that, if we must handle money for any purpose other than to pay our fees, we must subject new clients to the sort of ID and Due Diligence checks which are now imposed by banks.
Quite frankly, we've all got better things to do than be tangled up in bureaucracy.  Please bear with us on this.
Specific Purpose Visas - a Versatile Tool
Last year MBIE revamped the Specific Purpose Work Visa category (SPWV).  We have always favoured this type of application wherever we can use it, but I thought it worthwhile to revisit it here in case readers might find it useful.

SPWVs generally are for people to come over for assignments or events that are well-defined in purpose and timeframe.  They come in many flavours, but the most common ones that we employ are:
  1. Senior management or technical staff on assignment to an NZ company or an NZ subsidiary.  For example, the "hired gun" IT specialist managing a deployment project for 6 - 12 months;
  2. Intracorporate transfers within a multinational with a NZ presence.  Again, they need to demonstrate management or technical expertise justifying their placement.  An example is a Business Development Manager brought in to set up a new NZ office and to build the company's presence in this country;
  3. The catch-all: "People who need to come to New Zealand for any other specific purpose or event . . ."  Sometimes the scenario we are presented with does not fit tidily into one of the other SPWV criteria, but with a bit of creativity we can make it fit.
One big advantage of it is that it avoids having to advertise the position and prove that locals should not be employed.  By its nature, it is not suitable on its own for someone who might be considering an application for Residence, but it could be a stepping-stone.

It's worth running your situation past us to see if this type of application will work.
New Regime for Post-Study  Work Visas
In my blog in June I highlighted a proposed change in policy for people seeking visas based on their completion of an NZ qualification.  In short:
  • All eligible graduates can get an open 3-year Work Visa, rather than the current Employer Assisted scheme which ties the worker to a particular employer;
  • However, only graduates of a Bachelor's degree or higher are eligible to apply;
  • Those who complete a sub-degree course can only get a 1-year open Work Visa (currently called the Job Search visa in the trade).

It's not on the rule books yet, but it's likely to make it there.  This is because there is broad support for it as a common-sense solution.  Even the anti-immigration lobby can't complain too much, as it may squeeze out the bargain-basement diploma industry.

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