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Skilled Migrant Category reopens on 9 October 2023

Updated: Oct 4, 2023


From 9 October 2023, there will be changes to the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.


Under the new system, applicants will need six points to be granted residence. Besides that, they will also need to meet one of the following requirements:

  • Occupational registration (where an occupation has a regulated registration, licensing, or certification scheme in NZ and full registration requires at least 2 years of formal training or experience)

  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher level qualification, or

  • A skilled job earning at least 1.5 x median wage in New Zealand

If applicants do not gain enough points through one of these skill pathways, they will need to gain additional points through having skilled work experience in New Zealand.

All applicants will need a skilled job offer in New Zealand, and most applicants will be required to spend time working in New Zealand before becoming eligible for residence.

Changes to interim visas and variations of conditions

  1. A new interim visa for Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa resident visa applications will be implemented on 9 October 2023.

  2. This is an additional offering to visa holders on the path to residence, removing the requirement for Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa resident visa applicants to renew their temporary visa while they are awaiting the outcome of their application.

  3. These changes also apply to dependents and partners of Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa applicants.

  4. Applicants who transfer onto a Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa will also receive multiple entry travel conditions, allowing them to leave New Zealand and return on the same interim visa while it is valid.

  5. There will also be a pathway to allow Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa holders to vary some conditions of their interim visa conditions.

  6. These changes have been made to provide more certainty for applicants and will allow them to vary the conditions of their interim visa if their circumstances change.

  7. Eligibility for Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa variation of conditions (VOCs) will be based on the conditions of the interim visa held and the situation of the applicants. This means that not all people with the same interim visa conditions will have the same VOC pathway.

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