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Skilled Migrant Category pathway announced

New settings will be introduced for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa from 9 October 2023, resulting in a simplified points system for skilled workers.

With no cap on highly skilled workers, there will be a six-point system to provide clear criteria and a pathway to residence for skilled migrants. All migrants applying for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) will have a pathway based on occupational registration, recognised qualifications, or income.

The diagram below illustrates the six-point system with the number of points determining the years of work required before applying for a Skilled Migrant Category visa.

Under the new system, all SMC applicants must have a job offer for, or current employment in, a role paid at least:

  • the median wage for occupations classified at ANZSCO skill level 1-3, or
  • 5 times the median wage for occupations classified at ANZSCO skill level 4-5.

There are some requirements that are not changing and these include:

  • Character requirements
  • Health requirements
  • English language requirements
  • Age requirements (you must be 55 years or under to apply)

There will be no cap on the number of people who can gain residence if they meet the skills threshold and Immigration New Zealand aims to approve SMC applications within 6-8 weeks if all details are provided and the application is straight forward.

There will still be two EOI selections under the current SMC policy, and we would advise anyone who is on a temporary visa to get in touch for an eligibility assessment.

For any questions regarding this update, compliance concerns, or any further immigration matters, please contact Arno Nothnagel, our NZ Immigration Director, here.

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