A “simplified” Skilled Migrant Category points system has been announced today. The changes will be introduced from 9 October 2023.

The points system requires a total of 6 points to qualify under this category and is heavily weighted towards bachelor degrees or higher, occupations requiring registration or salaries at least 1.5 times above median wage. You can view the list of eligible occupational registrations here.  1 point for each year of skilled work experience in New Zealand, to a maximum of 3 points can also be claimed.   You must have a skilled job or job offer with an accredited employer in NZ to apply.  English, character and health requirements will remain the same.  This category will no longer be capped and as long as you meet the visa eligibility criteria, you will be able to apply.

The new SMC is meant to complement the Green List and Sector Agreement residence pathways. However, many blue-collar occupations in the trades appear to have been left out of these pathways to residence.

The Minister has only made an initial announcement at this stage and more information will be made available over the coming months.  However, if you want to explore whether you qualify under the existing  Skilled Migrant Residence category which closes in August 2023  or the new SMC points system – contact us now for a detailed assessment.

Changes to Accredited Employer work visas (AEWV)

From November 2023, the maximum duration of an AEWV will be extended from three years to five years.  Those work visa holders already on an AEWV can apply for a further visa to get to five years in total on an AEWV.  Time spent on other visas (e.g. Post Study Work Visas) will not count towards the maximum continuous stay.

AEWV holders not on a pathway to residence will have a maximum time in New Zealand of 5 years before they will have a stand-down period requiring 12 months outside New Zealand.

Vanessa Sharratt

Licensed Immigration Adviser