Skilled Migrant Category residence pathways

The revised Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) came into effective from 9 October 2023.

The SMC requires you to have a suitable job (or job offer) with an accredited employer, be aged less than 56 years old, meet English language, health, and character requirements, and achieve a total of 6 points under a new simplified points regime. The policy also has the ability to immediately progress from making an Expression of Interest and lodging the residence application and a introduces a skilled migrant category interim visa.

Applicants must first have (or have an offer of) "skilled" employment and can claim points under only ONE skill category (ie; Occupational registration or qualification or income) AND additional 1-3 points for 1-3 years of skilled work experience undertaken in New Zealand. Assessment of whether any employment is “skilled” is based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO 1.3 version) which associates skill levels with each occupation.

The 6 points can be achieved from one of the below options:

  • 6 points – if you hold New Zealand vocational or professional registration in a specified occupation that requires at least 6 years of training, or hold a PhD or doctorate, or have a job (or job offer) that pays at least 3 times the current New Zealand median wage.
  • 5 points – if you have New Zealand registration in a specified occupation that requires at least 5 years of training, or hold a Master degree.
  • 4 points – if you have New Zealand registration in a specified occupation that requires at least 4 years of training, or hold an Honours Degree or Post-graduate Diploma, or have a job or job offer in New Zealand that pays at least 2 times the median wage.
  • 3 points – if you have New Zealand registration in a specified occupation that requires at least 2 years of training, or hold a Bachelor Degree or Post-graduate Certificate, or have a job or job offer in New Zealand that pays at least 1.5 times the median wage.
And skilled work experience gained in New Zealand as follows:
  • 1 point – for one year of skilled work experience
  • 2 points – for two years of skilled work experience
  • 3 points – for three years of skilled work experience
There is no benefit in claiming more than the required 6 points. Points for qualifications can only be awarded if the qualification is recognised in policy settings.

There are a number of matters with the SMC that require particular care. The job must be one which is deemed to be skilled, and which you must be qualified by work experience or qualifications to work in. Evidence of any registration/licensing is required for any role for which this is mandatory to work in the role in New Zealand. Payrates are also a key factor.

Pathways® immigration advisers are fully conversant with all of the new policy detail and application processes. With any new policy it is especially important to be guided by professionals who have the knowledge and understanding of the policy and can apply the policy correctly from the outset. Contact a Pathways® adviser today to learn more about the new SMC policy and, if it is the right pathway for you – and, if so, get your application in today!

 

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