MEPV support coming to an end in March

Support package meant to protect against migrant worker exploitation

MEPV support coming to an end in March

The Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa (MEPV) Short-term Support Package providing temporary financial relief to exploited migrant workers is coming to the end of its approved term.

The support package is due to end on 18 March 2024, after which there will be no further financial support available from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) or through the third-party provider (NFACT), according to Financial Express.

People could apply for the MEPV if, while on an employer-supported work visa, they reported a case of migrant exploitation to Employment New Zealand, and their case was supported.

Transfer to new visa

An MEPV allows the holder to search for another job for 6 months or until the expiry date of their current work visa (whichever is lesser), according to the Financial Express.

The MEPV lasts for 6 months, and then the holder must transfer to a new visa if they want to remain in New Zealand.

MEPV holders will still be able to work in New Zealand if their MEPV remains valid.

In September 2023, the government announced changes to the immigration system to increase protection and support for migrant workers. This new financial support would end in March 2024, according to the report.

The payment will continue until people either:

  • Find work while on their MEPV
  • Reach expiry of their MEPV
  • Find work on a different visa such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
  • Leave New Zealand.

As part of the support announced for MEPV holders, migrants will be able to apply for a second MEPV, giving them more time to search for a job, according to the Financial Express. The second visa is for up to 6 months or until the expiry of their original work visa, whichever is the lesser. It is also possible to transition between visas.

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