Changes to the Skilled Migrant Category were announced on 19 April 2017 and will be implemented on 28 August 2017.
The Skilled Migrant Category changes are designed to ensure we are attracting migrants who bring the most economic benefits to New Zealand and to improve the skill composition of people gaining residence under the Skilled Migrant Category.
The changes to the Skilled Migrant Category include:
- The introduction of remuneration thresholds as an additional means of defining skilled employment:
- Jobs at ANZSCO skill levels 1, 2 and 3 must be paid at or above $23.49 per hour, which equates to a salary of $48,859 per year based on a 40 hour week.
- Jobs that are not ANZSCO skill level 1, 2 or 3 must be paid at or above $35.24 per hour, which equates to a salary of $73,299 per year based on a 40 hour week.
- The introduction of bonus points for high remuneration at or above $46.98 per hour, which equates to a salary of $97,718 per year based on a 40 hour week.
- More points available for work experience, but points will only be awarded for work experience that is skilled.
- Ten points will be awarded for skilled New Zealand work experience of 12 months or more, with no additional points for work experience of two years or more.
- Points for recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualifications (Master’s degrees and Doctorates) will increase to 70 points.
- Points for people aged 30 – 39 years will increase to 30 points.
- Points will only be awarded for partners’ qualifications if the qualifications are either a Bachelor’s level degree or higher, or a post-graduate (level 9 or 10) qualification.
- Points will no longer be available for: employment, work experience and qualifications in identified future growth areas; points for qualifications in areas of absolute skills shortage or points for close family in New Zealand.
- All applicants who meet the health, character, English and selection point requirements, but do not have either skilled employment or a higher degree gained in New Zealand will be invited to apply for a ‘job search visa’ to enable them to find ongoing skilled employment in New Zealand.
- There will be greater flexibility for offshore applicants to travel to New Zealand within the 12 month validity of their ‘job search visa’.
The new immigration instructions, effective from 28 August, are published in the Amendment Circular. Some frequently asked questions are set out below.