Latest news about immigration and veterinarians

Breaking news and a positive way to finish the year!

As a result of the NZVA lobbying efforts, supported by VCNZ, as well as recent correspondence from Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), we are pleased to announce that MBIE and Immigration NZ have formed the below view regarding the state of the veterinary profession in New Zealand.

"Veterinarians, not just specialist veterinarians, generally do meet the bar of having 'unique experience and technical or specialist skills that are not readily obtainable in New Zealand'."

MBIE and Immigrations will start applying the above approach to all long-term critical work visas (criteria below) effective immediately.

Long term "other critical worker" visas

A worker coming to New Zealand for the long term (six months or longer) is considered an 'other critical worker' if they meet one of the criteria for short term workers and:

  • they earn at least twice the median salary (currently NZD $106,080 a year), or
  • they have a role essential for the completion or continuation of a science programme under a government funded or partially government-funded contract, including research and development exchanges and partnerships, and has the support of the Science, Innovation and International Branch at MBIE to travel to New Zealand to carry out their work, or
  • they are undertaking a role essential for the delivery or execution of:
    • a government-approved event, or
    • major government-approved programme, or
    • approved major infrastructure project.

In addition, MBIE are willing to reconsider any vets declined after 11 September 2020 which is when immigration instructions last changed. This can be requested by e-mailing the address they received the decline from, and advising they are seeking a reconsideration as a veterinarian given change in approach. No fee is payable. Others (e.g. who may have been declined before 11 September) will need to make a fresh request and pay the fee.

To apply for a long term critical work visa, employers should complete the EOI form using the below link on behalf of the veterinarian.

So in summary:

  1. All veterinarians are now seen as qualifying for visa's – they still need to meet all existing criteria
  2. MBIE will apply this thinking to all applications from now
  3. Applications declined after 11 September will be available for reconsideration at no charge – make sure that you go back to the e mail address that you received the decline from.

In the new year the NZVA will be meeting with the three ministers to reinforce the need and start another conversation to advocate that those overseas veterinarians who are working in the profession and whose visa's are coming up for expiry, can be rolled over.

Merry Christmas
Kevin Bryant