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How immigration changes will affect workers

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has confirmed the intent of the latest immigration policy changes.


With the latest changes stating that any job under NZ$49,000 per year is not going to meet salary thresholds for an application for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category, the new policy may rule out many applicants in certain industries, such as hospitality. As whole, an estimated 2/5 applications considered earlier this year would not meet the new thresholds. On the bright side, there are now more points allocated for applicants aged 30-39 and higher-skilled/qualified workers. If you are unsure if this would positively or negatively impact your migration plans, contact us or take our assessment below.


Changes to start from August:
• Anyone who earns less than about $49,000 a year once in New Zealand won't get a skilled migrant residence visa, and permanent residents may not get points for such jobs.

• People who will earn more than $73,299 will automatically be classified as highly skilled (the high-level income)

• The SMC points table, under which individuals claim points towards their residence application, will also be realigned to give more recognition of skill levels in the 30-39 age group and high salary levels.

• Lower skilled visa holders may only hold a visa for a maximum of three years, after which a stand-down period will apply before another visa can be approved.

• Lower skilled visa holders may not get work/student visas for partners and children: they will only gain work visas if they meet requirements in their own right.

• Ensuring the length of the visa in seasonal occupations aligns with peak labour demand, rather than for 12 months as is presently the case.

Read the whole story on NZ Herald or take our free assessment.\

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