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  • Writer's pictureTHI

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa & Accredited Employer Work Visa changes

Updated: Aug 8, 2023


From 9 October 2023, the current settings of the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa will be replaced with a simplified points system that sets a clear skills threshold for residence and offers several ways for people to demonstrate their skill level. You will need 6 points to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.


Points to note:

  • You can claim 3 to 6 points from your New Zealand occupational registration, qualification (Bachelor’s degree or higher), or income from your job or job offer (earning at least 1.5 times the median wage in New Zealand).

  • You will be able to use your occupational registration to claim points if it is on our list of eligible New Zealand occupational registrations. Registrations that require more training are worth more points.

  • You can also claim 1 point for each year of skilled work in New Zealand, up to a maximum of 3 points.

  • You will be able to use your income from your job to claim points. This skill indicator will replace the Highly Paid Residence Visa that was announced in 2022 and allow highly paid migrants to apply for the new Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa instead.

  • You must have a skilled job or job offer with an accredited employer in New Zealand to apply. This requirement applies even if you are claiming the maximum amount of points available. To be considered a skilled job, the job or job offer must be:

  1. at least 30 hours a week.

  2. either in an ANZSCO Level 1 to 3 occupation and paid at or above the median wage, or in an ANZSCO Level 4 to 5 occupation and paid at or above 1.5 times the median wage.

  3. on a permanent contract or fixed-term contract for at least 12 months.

Some of the current requirements for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa are staying the same. These include:

  • character requirements

  • health requirements

  • English language requirements

  • age requirements (you must be 55 years old or under to apply).

Accredited Employer Work Visa changes

Points to note:

  1. The Government is introducing a maximum continuous stay of 5 years on an AEWV, for anyone who is unable to demonstrate that they are on a pathway to residence. People will need to spend 12 months outside of NZ to be eligible to apply for a further AEWV.

  2. From November 2023, the maximum duration of an AEWV will be extended from 3 years to 5 years to align with the introduction of the 5-year maximum continuous stay for AEWV holders.



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