New Zealand discards ANZSCO as means of assessing skill level of work visa occupations

New Zealand Immigration Update

New Zealand discards ANZSCO as means of assessing skill level of work visa occupations

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has confirmed that the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) will cease to be used as a means to assess the skill level of occupations eligible for skilled migration to the country.

Instead of assessing the skill level of work visa applications, INZ will now be using a simple salary threshold going forward, which will determine jobs as being ‘high’ or ‘low’ paid. Occupations with an above-median income (currently $25.50 per hour) will be classified as high paid jobs, while those with an income below the median wage will be addressed as low paid.

Skilled immigrants with work visa applications for low paid occupations will have to present a Skills Match Report (SMR) from New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development. Foreign individuals holding low paid work visas for three years will also have to spend 12 months outside New Zealand.

Last year, INZ also announced that under this new system, the duration of essential-skills work visas would be determined by the regions where individuals work in, depending on whether the occupations are high or low paid.

As things stand, work visas with above-median wages will be valid for up to three years. These visas will be renewable and free from Labour Market Testing (LMT). On the other hand, work visas with below-median wages will have a validity of three years, followed by a 12-month stand-down period. These visas will be subject to strong LMT.

Despite the ANZSCO no longer being used to assess the overall skill levels of work visa occupations, it will still be used to check if work visa applicants are suitably qualified for the positions and to ensure that the rate of pay for an occupation is not less than the market rate in the country.