Newly Announced Changes to the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

Jun 21, 2023

This morning the government announced that a new simplified points system will be introduced for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa on 9 October 2023. These changes are designed to provide a faster route to residence for individuals in high-skilled roles and offer a clear pathway to residence for those who work in Aotearoa New Zealand.

From 9 October 2023 you will only need 6 points to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.

You can claim between 3 to 6 points from your:

  • New Zealand occupational registration
  • qualification (Bachelor’s degree or higher), or
  • income from your job or job offer (earning at least 1.5 times the median wage in New Zealand).

Note: You can only claim points from 1 of the above skill indicators. You cannot combine points from multiple skill indicators. For example, you cannot combine points from your qualification with points from your New Zealand occupational registration.

You can also claim 1 point for each year of skilled work in New Zealand, up to a maximum of 3 points, these can be combined with points from your New Zealand occupational registration, qualification or income.

You must have a skilled job or job offer with an accredited employer in New Zealand to apply.

Some of the current requirements for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa are staying the same.

These include the good character, good health, English language and age requirements (you must be 55 years old or under to apply).

A partner and any dependent children up to the age of 24 can still be included in your application, provided they meet health, character and English language requirements.

What does this mean to people who currently qualify for SMC under 180 points?

  • INZ will continue to conduct monthly draws of all expressions of interest (EOIs) that meet the current 180 points threshold, until the final selection on 16 August 2023.
  • Those who are invited to apply for residence from this draw will have four months to apply under the current SMC settings.  
  • Those who do not meet the 180 points thresholds will not be invited to apply for residence, they may be able to apply under the new simplified points system from 9 October 2023 if they are eligible. 

Applicants may opt to withdraw their EOI before the July or final August selection and ask for a refund of the immigration fees. A refund will not be possible if their EOI has been selected or is still in the pool when the category closes.

Our expert team is here to simplify your immigration journey. If you’re already on board with us, reach out to your Licensed Immigration Adviser to discuss the way forward and ensure you’re on the right track.

If you’re still wondering whether, how, or when to take the leap, don’t hesitate. Contact us now, and we’ll provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision that could change your life.