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Streamlining the Skilled Migrant Category

18 July 2023

New Zealand Immigration Policy revamped: Streamlining the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)

In a recent move aimed at striking a balance in immigration and addressing skill shortages, the New Zealand government has announced significant changes to the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Immigration policy. These changes are not only set to revolutionise the way skilled migrants are attracted to the country but also offer much-needed clarity to immigrants seeking resident status.

Effective from October, the SMC will introduce a simplified points system with clear thresholds, for increased efficiency and transparency. Under this system, points can be accumulated through skilled work undertaken while on any visa that permits full-time employment in New Zealand. This emphasis on skilled work within the country facilitates a smoother verification process by Immigration New Zealand, making the evaluation of qualifications and experience more straightforward. Applicants can also earn credit for their overseas work experience if they possess occupational registration with a professional body.

One of the most promising aspects of these simplifications is the accelerated decision-making process. Applicants can expect faster notification, with straightforward applications anticipated to be finalised within an impressive six to eight weeks. These changes are specifically designed to offer highly skilled individuals a quicker route to permanent residence, while providing others with a viable path if they work in New Zealand for a specific duration.

The new application process commences with the completion of an expression of interest form, serving as the initial step in the main SMC application. Subsequently, applicants will respond to a series of eligibility questions to ensure the SMC is a suitable pathway for them. This process is automated, and once the base requirements are met, applicants will receive an automated invitation to proceed with the remainder of the application and pay the necessary fees.

To be approved a residence visa under the new SMC an applicant’s current skilled job or job offer must be for an accredited employer.

The employer must be either accredited at the time the residence application is made, or before a decision is made on the residence application.

We understand that this process may raise questions or require further clarification, and we are here to assist you every step of the way. If you have any queries regarding this revamped immigration policy or would like to explore the possibilities of becoming an accredited employer, our team of experts are readily available to guide you through the intricacies of the new SMC system and help you navigate your pathway to obtaining a SMC visa.

Need to know more? Call our team on (07) 578 0059


Disclaimer: This article is general in nature and should not be treated as professional advice. It is recommended that you consult your advisor.  No liability is assumed by Harris Tate Limited for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon the article above.

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