Skilled migrants still on hold

The government has placed a hold on most skilled workers’ pathway to apply for residence.

Many skilled workers apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category (or points system as it is commonly known). They start by lodging an “Expression of Interest” (EOI) and then go into a pool. A selection is made from the pool every fortnight leading to an invitation to apply for residence.

No selections have been made from the pool since March 2020. There are over 3200 EOIs sitting in the pool representing approximately 8,000 workers and their families all hoping to call New Zealand home. Some of your staff may be stuck here. We do not see any progress being made until after the election and only when the next Minister of Immigration makes several decisions including switching selections back on and/or any policy changes that may negatively affect those already in the pool or who are planning to apply in the future.

For those who have applied for residence there is some good news. The queue is finally starting to move. Priority applications (those paid twice the median wage or who require occupational registration) are going before Immigration Officers immediately for assessment. No waiting. People in the non priority queue who applied in late February 2019 are being assessed right now and each week this queue is shrinking.

If you or your overseas workers are looking for solutions contact our employer expert Lukas Sousa by calling 022 689 5500 or email

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