Visa News
June 28, 2023

Skilled Migrants – last call

The government is closing the current Skilled Migrant Category. The final date to lodge an EOI is on or before 11.59pm Tuesday, 15 August 2023.
Skilled Migrants – last call

The government is closing the current Skilled Migrant category (SMC). The final date to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) is on or before 11.59pm Tuesday, 15 August 2023. The final selections of EOIs will take place the next day, 16 August. This will be the last day when having 180 points qualifies for residence.  

People holding a job offer or already working in New Zealand who intend to apply for residence should act NOW to avoid disappointment. 

The new SMC opens on Monday, 9 October 2023. The threshold to qualify for residence under the new points system will be much higher than it is today. The new rules will favour PhD holders working as university lecturers or scientists but closes off pathways to residence for many migrant workers. People who do not have recognised university degrees will struggle to qualify until they have spent several years working in New Zealand and even then may not achieve residence if their income does not meet certain thresholds at selected intervals during their employment. 

The Highly Paid resident visa category (earning twice the median wage) closes on 1 July 2023. Anyone who believed they had a future pathway to residence under this category will need to qualify for residence under the new SMC. This may come as a complete surprise to people who were on this residence pathway. It will pay to check out if you will qualify under the current SMC before it closes in August. 

Under the new SMC points for age, New Zealand job offers, partners qualifications or job offers all disappear. The requirement to have a job or job offer, age limit of 55, English language and health/character standards will still apply. There are several fishhooks in these new rules around qualifications, minimum income and New Zealand work experience that will trip people up. While the new points system is being trumpeted as “simplified” it is anything but simple! 

The intent is clear. Reduce the number of people who qualify for residence. This change will hit employers and the migrant communities hard.

Don’t delay. Contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration for a free assessment of your residence eligibility today.  

Get started with a free assessment today

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