(Image by Freepik)
A new simplified points system will be introduced for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa on 9 October 2023.
The new approach will provide a faster route to residence for people in high skilled roles and others will have a clear route to residence if they work for a period in Aotearoa New Zealand.
These changes provide more certainty to migrants and employers about who can come to New Zealand to work temporarily and who can remain permanently, so people can make informed decisions.
The new SMC complements the Green List and Sector Agreement residence pathways, providing clear residence options for people depending on their job, qualification or wage.
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
- 1.5 times the median wage for occupations classified at ANZSCO skill level 4-5.
In addition, they need six points to apply. This can be made up from:
- three to six points based on New Zealand occupational registration, or a recognised qualification or income; and
- one point per year of work in a New Zealand skilled job, up to a maximum of three points.
The age limit, English language, health, and character requirements for residence applications remain unchanged.
The Highly Paid Residence Visa will be incorporated into the SMC instead of remaining a separate category.
INZ aim to decide straightforward SMC applications that have all the required information within six to eight weeks. There will be no cap on the number of people who can gain residence if they meet the skills threshold.
More information about the changes to the category will be provided by INZ closer to the launch.
Final Expression of Interest selection of current SMC
INZ will continue to conduct monthly draws of all expressions of interest (EOIs) that meet the current 180 points threshold, until the final selection on 16 August 2023. This means people have until 11:59pm on 15 August to submit their EOI. Those who are invited to apply for residence from this draw will have four months to apply under the current SMC settings.