SMC Simplified Points System
Starting October 9, 2023, a simplified points system for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa will provide a faster route to residence for highly skilled individuals. Other workers will have a clear pathway to residence after working for a period in New Zealand.
These changes are designed to provide more certainty to migrants and employers alike regarding temporary and permanent work and residency in New Zealand. The new SMC complements the Green List and Sector Agreement pathways, providing clear residence options depending on job, qualification, or wage.
Under the new system, SMC applicants must have a job offer for or current employment in a role with a salary of at least the median wage for ANZSCO skill levels 1-3 or 1.5 times the median wage for ANZSCO skill levels 4-5. Applicants must earn six points, which can come from New Zealand occupational registration, a recognized qualification or income, and work experience in a skilled job in New Zealand.
The age limit, English language, health, and character requirements for residence applications will remain the same. Additionally, the Highly Paid Residence Visa will be incorporated into the SMC.
INZ aims to decide straightforward SMC applications with all required information in six to eight weeks, and there will be no cap on the number of people who can gain residence if they meet the skills threshold. More information about these changes will be provided closer to their launch.
Final Expression of Interest selection of current SMC
The current SMC selection process is still ongoing, with monthly draws of expressions of interest (EOIs) meeting the 180 points threshold taking place until the final selection on 16 August 2023. The deadline for submitting your EOI is 11:59 pm on 15 August.
If selected to apply for residency, you'll have four months to do so. Keep in mind that only EOIs meeting the 180 points threshold will be considered at this time. However, those who fall short may still be eligible under the new simplified points system starting 9 October 2023.
If you're already in the current SMC selection pool, keep an eye out for more information coming your way. Don't let this opportunity slip by- submit your EOI before the deadline and take the first step towards becoming a resident of New Zealand.
Applicants have the option to withdraw their Expression of Interest (EOI) prior to the July or final August selection and request a refund. However, if their EOI has already been selected or remains in the pool at the time the category closes, they are not eligible for a refund. This is because the fee they pay is intended to cover the expenses associated with evaluating their EOI.