Today, 19th April 2017, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse announced changes to Skill Migrant Category (SMC).
Two remuneration thresholds are being introduced for applicants applying for residence under the SMC.
Two remuneration thresholds.
The same number of points will be awarded for both an offer of skilled employment and current skilled employment in New Zealand. Remuneration thresholds are being introduced as an additional means of defining skilled employment.
One will be set at the New Zealand median income of $48,859 a year for jobs that are currently considered skilled. Applicants with jobs at ANZSCO skill levels 1, 2 and 3 will only be awarded points for their employment if they are paid at or above NZ$48,859 per year (or NZ$23.49 per hour).
The other threshold will be set at 1.5 times the New Zealand median income of $73,299 a year for jobs that are not currently considered skilled but are well paid. Applicants with jobs that are not in ANZSCO skill level 1, 2 or 3 occupations may be assessed as being in skilled employment if they are paid at or above NZ$73,299 per year (or NZ$35.24 per hour). Bonus points will be awarded for remuneration at or above NZ$97,718.00 per year (or NZ$46.98 per hour). Remuneration thresholds will be updated annually based on New Zealand income data.
The automatic selection mark for applicants under the SMC was increased from 140 points to 160 in October last year, and the Government has now realigned the points system to put more emphasis on characteristics associated with better outcomes for migrants.
More points will be available for skilled work experience and some recognised post graduate qualifications, and points for age will increase for applicants aged 30-39.
Points will NO longer be available for qualifications in areas of absolute skills shortage, for employment, work experience and qualifications in Identified Future Growth Areas and close family in New Zealand.
More points will be available for work experience. Points will be awarded for skilled work experience in ANZSCO skill level 1, 2 and 3 occupations. Points will be awarded for skilled New Zealand work experience of 12 months or more. There will be no additional points for work experience of two years or more.
Qualifications, age and partner’s qualifications, Points available for recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualifications (Master’s degrees and Doctorates) will increase. Points for people aged 30 – 39 years will increase.
Partner’s qualifications will only be awarded points if they are a recognised Bachelor’s level degree or higher or a recognised post-graduate (level 9 or higher) qualification.
Points for the following factors will be removed
There are NO changes to the health, character or English language requirements.
Note: More detailed information will be available in June 2017. The changes will be implemented in mid-August 2017.