Oct 13, 2022

Are you across the HUGE recent updates from INZ?


We hope you enjoyed your weekend. We are enjoying making the most of daylight savings with our families so far!

As you likely have heard in the media, there have been some significant announcements from Immigration New Zealand in recent days. These include the reopening of two major residence categories which have been on hold due to the pandemic. This is good news for employers looking to fill workforce shortages and staff looking to bring family over to.

Below is an update on these three key announcements:

  • Skilled Migrant Category Reopens – points change and upcoming draw.
  • Parent Resident Visa Category Reopens – allowing staff to bring family to New Zealand.
  • Updates to Median wage – affecting AEWV pay rate thresholds.


The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is a popular pathway to New Zealand Residence and is now back open!

Under this category, applicants submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI).

If selected, and points based criteria is met, they are invited to apply for Residence. Points are calculated by assessing criteria such as qualifications, NZ job offer, age, and level of experience.

On reopening the SMC last week, Immigration New Zealand also announced their intention to revisit this category again next year to make further improvements such as faster processing times and allowing all vs some applicants that meet criteria to be processed. These improvements are proposed for mid 2023.

Key dates for SMC EOI selections

The first selection for 2022 will take place on November 9 and include all EOIs already submitted, as well as any new EOI’s submitted. Those who already have an EOI in place can chose to withdraw for a refund or keep the EOI in the system. In order to meet this selection, EOI’s must meet the 160 point requirement including skilled employment for this selection date.

The second selection will take place on January 18 2023 .

EOI’s will be required to meet 180 points for this selection date.

Following January, a monthly selection will take place for EOI’s meeting the 180 point threshold. Need clarification on SMC category? Get in touch now and we can help you create a plan to get the people you need for your business.


Also announced on Wednesday was the resuming of the Parent Resident Visa.

Overseas parents of New Zealand citizens or residents, can move to Aotearoa under this category if they fulfil criteria. This is crucial news for those with staff on a visa looking to bring family to New Zealand and will aid both attraction and retention of overseas talent to New Zealand.

Who is eligible for the Parent Resident Visa Category?

New Zealand residents or citizens, who have been NZ-based for at least 3 years and meet criteria, can sponsor their parent’s application for residence.

The category criteria will remain largely the same with some lightening of requirements as follows:

Income threshold for sponsors lowered from twice the median wage to 1.5 times the median wage.
Widening of the Joint sponsorship arrangements, to allow two adult children to combine their income in order to meet criteria vs partner only.

Parent Resident Visas granted annually will increase to 2,500.

The Expression of interest (EOI) selection process will move to a ballot system for all existing EOI’s and EOI’s received from 12 October 2022 until the first selection on 14 November 2022. A Ballot selection will take place every three months thereafter.Have staff looking to apply for the Resident Parent Visa category? Get in touch now and we can help you manage this.MEDIAN WAGE INCREASEFurther updates have been announced to median wage, affecting the pay requirements for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and other visas. 

The current median wage of $27.76 an hour will increase to $29.66 an hour, from 27 Feb 2023.

Latest news

Immigration policy updates – September 2023

As of 23 September 2023, this category is closed to new applicants. Anyone already on a Recovery Visa however, can apply for a three-month extension, allowing them time to transition to longer term work visas if necessary. Get in touch with our team if you need help with this transition – we can advise on the best visa type.

Video update – Median wage increases

The median wage increase that is set to hit in February has triggered alarm for Kiwi employers already dealing with constant changes and updates from government.

Update on Interim Visa conditions

Interim Visas are for current visa holders who have applied for their next required visa, but their current visa expires before the new one has been granted by Immigration New Zealand. The Interim Visa allows the visa holder to remain in New Zealand lawfully. Conditions and work rights of the Interim Visa depend on the original visa type held, and the type of visa they have applied for next.

Staff Wellbeing Meetings and Visa Eligibility Checks

Our team is happy to visit your team for a Wellbeing Meeting. We find employers really benefit from these sessions that keep everyone updated on the immigration settings and explore options to bring family members to New Zealand.

Navigating Immigration New Zealand’s latest announcements

Keeping up to date with INZ’s fast moving policy announcements is crucial for your business planning. Staying on top of these updates will help you understand the impact they may have on your people and help you make informed decisions to enhance your hiring strategies.

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