NZ Govt Announces Changes On Skilled Migrant Category

A New Point System for Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)

If you are considering migrating to New Zealand anytime soon, you must know that this is one of the best ideas anyone could ever have. New Zealand is literally the land of milk and honey and is one of the few countries that boast of unspoiled natural wonders. This is why movies an epic scenery showing the wonders of a natural landscape all flock to New Zealand.

There are, however, certain considerations to go over if you are planning on migrating to New Zealand. The New Zealand immigration office has announced a series of changes that will be implemented for everyone looking to migrate to the country.

One of the ways you could migrate to New Zealand, and incidentally has been changed, is as a skilled migrant, where you could get a Skilled Migrant Category visa.

There are, however, a number of specific criteria that need to be met to become eligible for this type of visa, one of which is through scoring points that meet the New Zealand immigration points system. The point system is rather complex, although there are a number of ways you could earn the needed points, including:

  • New Zealand Occupational registration
  • Educational qualification (Bachelor’s degree or higher)
  • Proof of income equivalent to at least 1.5 times the NZ median wage
  • Each year of skilled work done in NZ (maximum of 3 points)

You may learn more about the New Zealand immigration point system by visiting the official website here. More information about the updates could be found here.

Skilled Job Offer

Another way to get into New Zealand is by receiving a skilled job offer from an accredited employer in the country. There are, however, specific criteria for a particular job to be considered as a skilled job or job offer, and these include:

  • Job must take up at least 30 hours a week
  • Classified as ANZSCO Level 1 to Level 3 occupation and pays at least median wage or above
  • Classified as ANZSCO Level 4 to Level 5 and pays at least 1.5 times the median wage or above
  • The job must come with a permanent contract or a fixed-term contract that lasts at least 12 months

ANZSCO is a classification that bases categories on skill and is used for all occupations and jobs that earn a wage in the Australian and New Zealand labour markets. The structure of this classification covers all occupations and groups them into 8 major groups with each group made up of sub-categories. These occupations are all defined by their primary tasks, regardless of the alternative titles that different groups might use for them.

Unchanged Requirements

The two requirements mentioned above are the only requirements that have been changed thus far. There are existing requirements in the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa that remain the same, including:

  • Character requirements
  • Health requirements
  • Language requirements (English)
  • Age requirements (must be 55 years old or under to be eligible for application)

Inclusion of Family Members in Application.

You are allowed by the New Zealand government to include family members, such as your partner and/or any dependent children up to the age of 24 in your Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa application. It is, however, important that you understand how the New Zealand government defines family members that are allowed for inclusion. You may read more about it here.

Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa

It is not uncommon for people applying for a new Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa to have their temporary visa expire while the application is being processed. The sheer number of applications could take a toll on the processing time experienced by applicants. In this instance, you will be granted a Skilled Migrant Category Interim visa which will take effect the day after your current visa expires.

This is important to note because the Skilled Migrant Category Interim visa will allow you to stay legally in New Zealand while your application for a new Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa is being processed. This will also allow you to legally travel in and out of the country. All of the conditions that apply to your current visa will also apply to the Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa issued to you.

Please note that once you have been issued a Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa, you will not be allowed to apply for another temporary visa. If you wish to know how soon your issued Skilled Migrant Category Interim visa will expire, you may learn more about it here.

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