Some changes in Skilled Migrant Category Visa to Residency

Vandana Rai– Director of Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd discusses some changes in Skilled Migrant Category Visa to Residency.

New Zealand wants skilled people into skilled employment. Because you’re studying to gain a qualification in NZ, there is no need to worry.

Skilled Migrant Category changes

“The Skilled Migrant Category changes are designed to ensure we are attracting migrants who bring the most economic benefits to New Zealand and to improve the skill composition of people gaining residence under the Skilled Migrant Category.” (NZ Immigration)

Some of the highlights are:

  • Jobs at ANZSCO skill levels 1, 2 and 3 must be paid at or above $23.49 per hour, which equates to a salary of $48,859 per year based on a 40 hour week.
  • Points for recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualifications (Master’s degrees and Doctorates) will increase to 70 points.
  • Points for people aged 30 – 39 years will increase to 30 points.
  • Points will only be awarded for partners’ qualifications if the qualifications are either a Bachelor’s level degree or higher, or a post-graduate (level 9 or 10) qualification.

Some advice from a licensed immigration adviser

  1. Students do not need to worry much

According to Vandana Rai – Director of Immigration Advisers NZ Ltd, students who are studying in New Zealand do not need to worry much.

You are gaining a qualification in New Zealand and it would be considered skilled.

One major change which has taken place is that there is an additional requirement of salary renumeration to be considered skilled or not. Skilled occupations that are level 1 to 3 would only be considered skilled if you are getting $48,859 per annum.


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2. Upskill yourself and gain skilled work experience

“There has been a points increased for skilled employment and immigration has accepted that if we want skilled people, we need to give them more time to get that skilled experience.”

“People in the age group 30-39 years old will have 30 points”

“There are also bonus points when having employment outside Auckland for you to consider. For students with a New Zealand qualification and skilled employment, there is no need to worry.”

3. Seek licensed immigration advice if you need

There are licensed immigration advisers available to help go through applications and calculate the eligible points to residency in New Zealand. So if you are in doubt, seek their professional advice.