21 July 2024

New point system for skilled migrant resident visa applications from 9 Oct.

A new Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa opens on Monday, 9 October with changes, including a new points system and a skilled job offer.

Under the new system, applicants will need six points to be granted residence, according to an Immigration New Zealand (INZ) announcement.

These changes will have a simplified points system that sets a clear skills threshold for residence and offers several ways for prospective migrants to demonstrate their skill level.

All applicants of this category visa will need to meet one of the following three criteria and claim 3 to 6 points:

  • New Zealand occupational registration – (where an occupation has a regulated registration, licensing, or certification scheme in NZ and full registration requires at least 2 years of formal training or experience)
  • Qualification – Bachelor’s degree or higher level
  • Income from your job or job offer – at least 1.5 x median wage in NZ

Applicants can only claim points from one of the above skill indicators and cannot combine points. For example, applicants cannot combine points from their qualification with points from their NZ occupational registration.

For each year of skilled work in New Zealand, applicants can claim 1 point for each up to a maximum of 3 points,

If applicant does not gain enough points through one of the three skill pathways criteria, they can combine these with points from their skilled NZ work experience.

Under the new norms there will be no cap on the number of people who can gain residence if they meet the skills threshold.

INZ assures applications that have all the required information will be decided within 6 to 8 weeks.

Employers can continue to bring skilled workers to New Zealand on a temporary work visa, such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa, or employ migrants on other eligible work visas.

INZ is also opening a new Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa on 9 October for those visa holders who are on the path to residence, These changes also apply to dependents and partners of Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa applicants.

This removes the requirement for them to renew their temporary visa while they are awaiting the outcome of their application.

INZ has fixed the cost to vary the conditions of a visa at $210.

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