I have a work visa for a specific job which is stated on my visa, but my employer can no longer pay me and has stopped giving me a job.

If you currently hold a Post-Study (Employer Assisted) Work Visa, from 26 November 2018 you will be eligible to apply for a Variation of Conditions to remove the “employer-specific” conditions currently stated in your visa – i.e. occupation, employer and location.

If, however, you hold an Essential Skills Work Visa or a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa – and you also have a new job offer with a different employer – you need to find out whether you can get a Variation of Conditions or if you must apply for a new work visa entirely. Variation of Conditions of an employer-specific work visa will only be granted in very limited circumstances, so you should get professional advice before making such an application, to save you time and cost. Our Staff Solicitor, Jacqui Lee, wrote a blog on this topic which you might find helpful to read.

It is important that you either vary the conditions of your existing visa or get a new work visa approved before you start working for a new employer. This is to avoid breaching the conditions of your existing visa.

It is also critical for you to act quickly in a situation like this because as soon as you stop work with the employer named on your current work visa – even if you don’t start working for a new employer – you will breach your visa conditions. If you breach your work visa conditions for any reason, you could face deportation.
If you are in a partnership with a New Zealand citizen or resident and you can prove you have been living together for at least three months, you might be able to make a Work Visa application with your partner’s support. You could then work for any employer in any job for one year. However, you should talk to us about your situation before committing to this option.

N.B. Before moving on from a previous employer, make sure your employer pays you your holiday pay which you should be entitled to under your Employment Agreement.