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(The article below is from Immigration New Zealand website and you can find the original copy here.)
Two remuneration thresholds are being introduced for applicants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC). One will be set at the New Zealand median income of $48,859 a year for jobs that are currently considered skilled. The other threshold will be set at 1.5 times the New Zealand median income of $73,299 a year for jobs that are not currently considered skilled but are well paid.
The automatic selection mark for applicants under the SMC was increased from 140 points to 160 in October last year and the Government has now realigned the points system to put more emphasis on characteristics associated with better outcomes for migrants.
More points will be available for skilled work experience and some recognised post graduate qualifications, and points for age will increase for applicants aged 30-39.
Points will no longer be available for qualifications in areas of absolute skills shortage, for employment, work experience and qualifications in Identified Future Growth Areas and for close family in New Zealand.
The changes will be implemented in mid-August 2017.
How is the SMC changing?
Amendments are being made to the Skilled Migrant Category to improve the skill composition and ensure we are attracting migrants who bring the most economic benefits to New Zealand. The changes affect many aspects of the policy, including changes to:
When will the changes come into effect?
14 August 2017.
Are the changes designed to allow fewer people to be granted residence under the SMC?
While there will be an impact on some people in low paid employment, the changes expand the definition of skilled employment to allow some people to obtain residence who have previously been unable to claim points for their employment in New Zealand – people who are not currently considered to be in skilled employment because their job is not in an Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) skill level 1, 2 or 3 occupation will be able to claim points for their job if they are earning $73,299 or more per year.
Will particular types of applicants benefit from the changes?
The changes put more focus on skilled work experience, more recognition of skill levels in the 30-39 age group and high salary levels.
What are the specific changes in each policy area?
Qualifications, age and partner’s qualifications
Which factors will applicants no longer be able to gain points for?
Points for the following factors will be removed:
Are there any changes to the health, character or English language requirements?
No there are no changes to these aspects of the SMC instructions.
Why is the SMC changing?
The Government is committed to ensuring our immigration settings best support the economy and the labour market. These changes are designed to improve the skill composition of the SMC and ensure that it prioritises higher-paid and higher-skilled migrants.
Will the selection point change when the new SMC comes into effect?
The selection point is able to be adjusted by the Minister of Immigration as necessary for the overall planning range of the New Zealand Residence Programme, so the selection point may change from time to time. There is no information at the present time concerning where the selection point will be set when the adjusted Skilled Migrant Category is implemented.
Will the salary thresholds change?
The salary thresholds are based on information from New Zealand income data and will be reviewed annually.
I have already submitted my SMC application but it has not yet been finalised. What will happen to my application if it is not decided until after 14 August?
Because your application was submitted before 14 August it will continue to be assessed under the current instructions.
My SMC Expression of Interest (EoI) has been selected from the SMC Pool but I have not yet been invited to apply: if I obtain an invitation to apply before 14 August but do not submit my SMC residence application until after 14 August, can I be assessed under the current SMC instructions?
If your Invitation to Apply was issued on the basis of a selection from the SMC Pool before the policy change your application will be assessed under the SMC instructions that were in place at the time your EoI was selected, regardless of whether you application is submitted after 14 August. The application must be received within the standard four month limit.
If my EoI is selected from the SMC Pool before 14 August but is then returned to the Pool, what will happen to my EoI?
If your EoI has been selected from the Pool but is returned to the Pool because it does not meet the requirements for an Invitation to Apply, you will be able to edit and resubmit your EoI on the new EoI form, at no cost. The new form will reflect the new requirements. However if, as a result of the changes, you are no longer able to claim 100 points, your EoI will not be accepted into the Pool.
When will more detailed information be available about the changes to the SMC?
We hope to have more information available in June 2017.