Interested in applying for NZ residence or waiting for your application to be processed? Applications under the Skilled Migrant Category are experiencing unprecedented delays. Find the latest NZ Immigration Updates below to learn how the Skilled Migrant Category changes may affect you:
Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been on hold since March 2020, when the pandemic first took hold in New Zealand. There are over 11,000 EOIs currently sitting in the skilled migrant pool. We anticipate a smaller number of these EOIs will be selected and invited for residence.
Current residence applications for the skilled migrant resident visa nz are moving very slowly with those lodged in November 2019 being looked at now. To date, there are approximately 14,000 applications covering some 30,000 people waiting to be processed. Applications lodged before the pandemic began continue to be processed, but the current volume is simply too much for the 70 immigration officers working on these cases to handle.
As we previously reported,, an official announcement by the government is expected to be made about the Skilled Migrant Category very soon. An advance copy of the updated SMC point calculator was prematurely posted on the Immigration NZ website and has since been taken down. What we learned from this advance copy is that Immigration NZ are likely to reopen Expressions of Interest with modified selection criteria. We reported that it appears more points would be allocated to jobs requiring occupational registrations, such as nurses, plumbers, and teachers. It also detailed that extra points will be allocated to those that have jobs in areas of absolute skills shortages, like engineers and health professionals.
There may be other unexpected changes to residence criteria as the government looks at ways to manage the high number of people already in NZ wanting to become residents and the limited resources of INZ to process all the current and future applications.
To be considered a skilled migrant worker in NZ, you must be paid the median wage. The median wage changes every year and has a direct impact on visa applications under the skilled migrant category. On July 19, 2021, the Government increased the median wage to $27 per hour, so anyone who applies for a skilled migrant resident visa will need to have a job offer that pays at least the median wage. This also means that Expressions of Interest with a job pay rate less of less than $27 will not be considered for residency. Residence applications lodged before July 19 will not be affected by this change.
It’s only a matter of time until Expressions of Interest are officially re-opened and new residence visa applications are processed. When that time comes – you will need to have your application ready to go straight away to prevent further delays.
If your Expression of Interest is selected and you are invited for residence, there are important documents you will need for your resident visa application, including:
· Your Birth Certificate (with your parent names on it)
· A Valid Passport
· A Police Certificate
· A Medical Certificate
· Documents to support your points claim
· Documents to verify relationships with anyone included in the application
Your application form will detail whether you need to supply original or certified copies of these documents. It is important to get your application right the first time around. If your application has missing information or inaccuracies, INZ will not hesitate to return your application, causing further delays in the process, or the application gets declined. Take advice.
The best way to avoid issues with your application is to speak with a licenced immigration adviser. At Malcolm Pacific Immigration, our specialists can handle all visa types, including resident visa applications. Get in touch today to learn everything you need to know about the Skilled Migrant Category.
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Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
In order to address labour shortages in New Zealand's crucial industries the NZ government has implemented a "Green List" of sought-after high-skill occupations. This list offers a prioritised pathway to residency.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Occupations are broken down into two tiers:
The recent additions in May 2023 across many sectors on the Green List NZ can be found here