21 July 2024

Govt make changes to immigration rules

By Gurbir Singh:

International students and potential immigrants to New Zealand may find it harder in coming days to qualify for Work Permit or permanent residency as Immigration NZ (IMZ) are making few more changes to its Skilled Migrant and Essential Skills policies that were implemented in August 2017.

The income threshold levels of both these categories will be increased from 15 January, 2018.

According to the Immigration NZ announcement made on 13th Dec., the remuneration threshold in the Skilled Migrant Category of ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) 1-3, has been increased from existing $23.49 to $24.29 per hour or above.

For ANZSCO 4-5, or which is not included in AZNSCO, hourly threshold has been raised to $36.44 from $35.24.

Similarly, changes are also being made in Essential Skills Work Visa category and income threshold for mid-skilled employment will increase to $20.65, and for high-skilled employment, it will be revised to $36.44.

In its announcement, Immigration NZ has clarified that these changes to the income thresholds will not affect the current Essential Skills work visa holders, and duration or conditions of visas that have already been granted will not be affected.

A new application made on or after 15 January will be assessed against the new threshold. However, if someone applied for a further visa after 15 January, they would be considered under new income rules.

INZ has also confirmed that if the application was received by INZ before 15 January 2018, the old thresholds will be used to assess the application and determine the visa application.

If an application is received and accepted after 15 January 2018, the new thresholds will apply, even if, for example, the employment agreement has been signed prior to 15 January 2018.

The income thresholds are indexed against the New Zealand median income and are updated at the end of each calendar year based on income data (which is released in September). This year the changes have been delayed until January to give employers and migrants enough time to adjust to the new thresholds.

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