Welcoming Back the Skilled Migrant Category Visa With Open Arms

Immigration New Zealand continues to take steps to tackle the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on labour shortages in the country. The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), which came into force earlier this year, has seen New Zealand reopen its borders to encourage migrant workers to fill the plethora of vacancies we have seen throughout the job market. The AEWV has so far seen more than 12,000 migrant applicants applying for over 511 different vacancies in New Zealand under the new regime.

The AEWV was initially designed to replace the other types of work visas New Zealand previously used. However, the demand for overseas talent has seen a rethinking of NZ strategy. Last week, Immigration New Zealand announced reincorporating the Skilled Migrant Category Visa (SMC) to sit alongside the AEWV. Unlike the AEWV, which was particularly limited in scope of occupations eligible, the SMC is a point-based system with much broader parameters. What this means is that under the SMC, more vacancies are eligible to be considered – broadening the types of jobs, and volume of people, who are eligible to apply to work in NZ. The news should be met with some positivity from employers around the country, as more and more Kiwi businesses can to look to talent from outside of NZ.

The point-based system considers a variety of factors contributing to the applicants eligibility. From there, a “pool” of potential candidates is established, and offers subsequently made. The first selection of the SMC pool will take place on 9 November 2022, consisting of applicants who achieve 160 points or greater under the Visa regime. You can read more about the first selection here.

Any questions you may have regarding AEWV and SMC applications, please get in touch with one of our employment team today.

Edward Bostock                   [email protected]
Christine Symes                   [email protected]
Tayla Westman                    [email protected]