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Recent Changes To Skilled Migration Category (SMC) in New Zealand- My take

Skilled migration category

There are lots of discussions going on regarding Immigration New Zealand’s recent changes to Skilled Migrant Category (SMC). Here are my thoughts on these changes.

When considering moving to or remaining in New Zealand permanently you should consider the recent changes to the Immigration policy. Knowing what those changes are; will better prepare you to make the journey to your new home.

Rest assured New Zealand wants you!

There has been a record migration in New Zealand and these have been praised as a sign of strong economic growth.

While not wanting to curb the migration that is fueling growth, the Government is attempting better manage immigration and improve the labour market contribution of temporary and permanent migration.

These changes are being done to relieve pressure on public services and infrastructure and are ostensibly designed to allow regions get the workers needed while sending fewer new arrivals to Auckland – which is experiencing difficulties due to a strong increase in population.Custom Logo Designer

Changes to the Skilled Migrant Categories

Here are some of the changes to Skilled Migrant Categories (SMC) that may affect you as a potential immigrant to New Zealand.

  • Two remuneration thresholds now exist for applicants applying for residence under the SMC.
    • Threshold one is set at the New Zealand median income of $48,859 per annum for jobs currently considered skilled.
    • Threshold two is set at 1.5 times the New Zealand median income of $73,299 a year for jobs well compensated but not currently considered skilled.
    • The automatic selection mark for SMC applicants increased from 140 points to 160 (Oct 2016)
    • The Government adjusted the points system to emphasize characteristics that have better migrant outcomes.
  • More points will be available
    • Skilled work experience
    • Some recognized post graduate qualifications
  • Points for age will increase for applicants aged 30-39

In addition, points will no longer be available for

  • Qualifications in an area of absolute skills shortage
  • Identified Future Growth Areas skilled employment, work experience and qualifications
  • Close family in New Zealand.

The changes are planned for implementation in mid-August of 2017.

What the changes to the SMC mean for you

While some fear that the changes to the Immigration rules will adversely affect them, the fact is while there will be an impact on some people in low paid employment, the changes expand the definition of skilled employment.

This will allow some people to obtain residence who have previously been unable to claim points for their employment in New Zealand.

These are people who are not currently considered to be in skilled employment because their job is not in an Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) skill level 1, 2 or 3.

People with these types of occupations will be able to claim points for their job if they are earning $73,299 or more per year.

What this ultimately means is that the changes put more focus on skilled work experience, more recognition of skill levels in the 30-39 age group and high salary levels.

There are also “bonus points” on offer for anyone paid more than $97,718 a year.  There will also be more points available for work experience, post-graduate degrees, and people aged between 30 and 39.

What’s the Bottom Line on Immigration to New Zealand

You should, of course, read the official New Zealand Immigration changes document, the bottom line is that the new changes have been implemented by the Government to attract more highly skilled workers to further benefit the thriving economy.Custom Logo Designer

The Government wants to continue the amazing migration it has been experiencing to the country which is increasing growth and prosperity.

The key to making a successful migration to New Zealand is understanding how your skills and background work within the new points system.

This will help reduce frustration and increase the chances that you will make an easier and more pleasant transition to your new home.

If you are planning to move or remain in New Zealand permanently, please contact me at babita@immigrationlawadvice.co.nz to discuss your options.

8 thoughts on “Recent Changes To Skilled Migration Category (SMC) in New Zealand- My take

  1. Hi dear sir/madam I saw ur new post about New rules of NZ Immigration.My quesrion is Can I receive the job search open visa after finish my wife level 5 hospitality management course. Courses are going to finish on November. Now I m holding the visitors visa during my wife’s course. So I wanted to know because there are change the rules for spouse visa as well right?
    Some people said nomore work visa for partner but before came out the new rules all the partners were receiving the job search visa as well.
    Thank you so much

  2. Hi Chun Bahadur Pun,

    Please note that there is no change in the post study student visas or their spouse visa (as applicable earlier). This means If your wife qualifies for a post-study work visa in New Zealand you should be eligible for an open work visa during that time.

    Hope this clarifies. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further question. You can also email me at babita@immigrationlawadvice.co.nz


  3. Hi my name is nitish and i am on currently essential skill visa and wife is on open work visa as well after august will that any effect on my wife visa? can she apply further work visa or she need to apply visitor?

    1. Hi Nitish,

      There a consultation process on; with regards to changes in essential skill visa category. There will a decision on this sometime by July 2017. Please note this won’t be that straightforward as there may be a variation as per skill level and remuneration. Please contact me by end of July 2017 and I may able to give you more objective answer then.
      You can write to me at babita@immigrationlawadvice.co.nz
      Best of luck!

      1. hi name is yodhbir singh .. im a dairy farmer worker and i need to know that what is permanent residencey programe of in this field . i have done my level 4 and 5 from waiariki institute.. please give me instructions. Thanks

        1. Hi Yodhbir,

          Yes, there are options to apply under SMC for dairy farmers. If you want me to do a detailed assessment of your case. Please email me and I can come back to you with the process of assessment and consulting charges (depending on the time). I am a licensed Immigration Adviser. Before providing any of our services we sign an agreement with all our clients which clearly states the details of the services to be provided and fee to safeguard the interest of our clients. You may email me at babita@immigrationlawadvice.co.nz

  4. Hi, Im working an a fairy farm and my wage is 55,000 + 18,300 accomodation + 300 per month of productivity bonnus. I have a master degree, I have 2 years NZ, 1 ausse and couple more in the dairy farm industry, I have 30 years old and my partner has a bachelor degree, but maybe my English level is not enough for get 6.5 on eitls test, what options we have?

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