The skilled migrant category changes bring an income threshold for applications under the Skilled Migrant residence category. For a role to be considered skilled, it must have a salary that matches the New Zealand median income of $48,859 a year.
This change has allowed Immigration New Zealand to recognise that some jobs that might not be recognised as skilled under the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) can attract a high salary due to a lack of available workers, or the specialist nature of the role. This threshold is set at 1.5 times the New Zealand median income of $73,299, and allows workers being paid this salary the opportunity to apply for residency.
A job is considered skilled by using a combination of a set list of identified occupations, and substantially matching the job description set out in ANZSCO. For a person to be considered for one of these skilled jobs, they must have the right qualification, level of experience and now the right salary.
There are benefits for all employees who are in roles that migrant workers are also filling from these changes. There have been cases where migrants should be attracting a higher salary than they were actually being paid. In many cases this was because employers were taking advantage of the migrants need a job offer by offering a lower salary. These lower salaries are subsequently reducing market rates for the rest of the work force. Putting minimum levels in place arrests any downward trends.
Further changes are likely, with the new Labour/Greens/First National coalition signalling a significant drop in migrant numbers. Possible changes to the Skilled Migrant category could see bonus points for studying or working in New Zealand being removed, and a change to the points allocated to age for those below the age of 45.
If you would like assistance with applying for residency, or any other immigration matter, contact us.