Skilled Migrant Changes
Skilled Migrant Category updates
There have been no selections of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool since the last draw on 18 March 2020. This means no one has been invited to apply for residence after 18/03/2020. The Minister of Immigration said in late June 2021 an announcement to restart selections would be made "soon".
Residence applications lodged under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) for anyone invited to apply for residence before 18 March 2020 continue to be processed but the sheer volume of applications is causing long delays. The information on this page sets out the recent changes to this category and apply to SMC residence applications lodged after the "effective dates".
Change effective 19/07/2021
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. Bonus points for employment paid a "high remuneration" will need to earn at least $54 per hour to qualify for the extra points. This change does not affect applications lodged before 19 July.
Change effective 15/02/2021
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. Take advice.
Change effective 19/10/2020
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.
Note: the government has made no announcement or decision when selections will resume despite the April 2021 review date passing.
Change effective 27/07/2020
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
Nursing Support worker
Take advice before proceeding with an Expression of Interest or residence application based on one of these job offers. Special rules apply.
Change effective 18/05/2020
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. Normally invitations are only valid for four months but due to the difficulty to secure certain documents (e.g. medicals, police certificates etc)
from disruption by COVID -19, the government has extended the invitation deadlines for this group to a maximum of 10 months.
Change effective 31/03/2020
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. At this stage, Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until sometime after the general election held on 17 October 2020. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 12/03/2020.
Change effective 24/02/2020
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets one of two criteria:
Has employment paying double the median wage which is currently NZD $51 per hour OR NZD $106,800 per annum; OR
Has New Zealand occupational registration and is required to hold valid registration to lawfully carry out their job (e.g. nurses, electricians, teachers etc).
a) The median wage changes from time to time (usually November each year).
b) All other Skilled Migrant residence applications are processed in date order received by Immigration NZ (oldest applications processed first).
Change effective 30/10/2019
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 (median wage is currently NZD $25.50 per hour or $53,040 annually based on a 40 hour week).
The median wage changes from time to time. (usually November each year).
Other requirements must be met for a job offer to qualify for points including an employer’s compliance with employment and immigration laws, genuine and full-time employment, English language and so on.
Take advice to establish eligibility to apply for residence under Skilled Migrant before proceeding with an Expression of Interest.
Latest occupations now regarded as skilled employment grouped by sector
Child Care Worker
Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant
Family Day Care Worker
Out of School Hours Care Worker
Personal Care Assistant
Personal Service Workers
Bungy Jump Master
Diving Instructor (Open Water)
Mountain or Glacier Guide
Outdoor Adventure Guides
Outdoor Adventure Instructor
Whitewater Rafting Guide
Credit or Loans Officer
Insurance Loss Adjuster
Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator
Footwear Production Machine Operator
Hide and Skin Processing Machine Operator
Knitting Machine Operator
Logging Plant Operator
Paper and Pulp Mill Operator
Paper Products Machine Operator
Paving Plant Operator
Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operator
Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators
Weaving Machine Operator
Waste Water or Water Plant Operator
Yarn Carding and Spinning Machine Operator