Changes to New Zealand Immigration

Changes to New Zealand Immigration

Changes to Essential Skills Visas

There will now be the introduction of remuneration bands.


Higher Skilled

Employment will be assessed as higher skilled where the remuneration offered is greater than $35.24 per hour regardless of ANZSCO occupation.


Mid Skilled

Employment will be assessed as mid skilled where remuneration is between $19.97 and $35.24 per hour AND the employment substantially matches the  ANZSCO occupation.


Lower Skilled

Employment where the remuneration is less than $19.97 regardless of ANSCO occupation OR the remuneration is less than $35.24 and employment substantially matches the description for a skill level 4 or 5 ANZSCO occupation.

Lower skilled applicants may be granted a 1 year work visa up to three times after which there will be a stand down period for one year where the application will need to leave New Zealand. NOTE if you are already in NZ on an Essential Skills Work Visa in a lower skilled job then the three years will start from the grant of your next visa after the 28 August 2017.

Lower skilled migrants will not in future be able to include family members, however partners and children can come as visitors, or gain work or student visas in their own right if they meet requirements. Students will not be considered ‘domestic students’ for the purpose of Tuition fees.



Changes to Skilled Migrant Category Residence

Two remuneration thresholds have been introduced when assessing whether employment is skilled. Employment is assessed as skilled if it:

Substantially matches an occupation at ANZSCO skill levels 1-3 and is remunerated at or above $23.49 per hour OR

Substantially matches an ANZSCO skill level 4-5, or is in an occupation for which there is no corresponding ANZSCO description, and is remunerated at or above $35.24 per hour.

There are further changes to the points system with an increase in points for work experience , (however this must be skilled work experience not just relevant work experience),  some post graduate qualifications and for those aged 30 -39. Bonus points for those earning over $46.98 per hour.  Bonus points will no longer be gained for qualifications in an area of Absolute Skill shortage, for employment, work experience and qualifications in Identified Future Growth Areas or for having close family already in NZ. 



We will keep you posted but if you think you may be affected by the changes and need advice now please contact us today.

South Island Contribution Work Visa

The Government has prepared a pathway to residence for  a large number of  people who have been employed on an Essential Skills Work Visa in the South Island for five years or more, as at the 22nd May 2017.  The visa last for 30 months and after two years the holder can apply for a residence visa provided they remain working in the same industry and region. The applicant must be 55 years or under. Family cannot be included however they may apply for a  visa in their own right. To take advantage of this visa you must apply before 23rd May 2018.



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