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FAQs: New Skilled Migrant Category Structure with 6 points

21 June 2023

Updated on: 17/05/2024

A new simplified points system for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa came into effect on 9 October 2023. Here are some FAQs to help you understand this category better. 

How are you eligible for SMC with 6 points?

You must claim points from at least one section from the blue box below. If you can get all 6 points from here, then you don’t need anything from the red box. However, if you are short of 6 points, the remaining points can come from the red box. Irrespective of where you claim points from, you must have a ‘skilled’ job offer from an Accredited NZ employer. 

Maximum points the blue box can give you: 6.

Maximum points the red box can give you: 3.

What is the processing time frame for the new SMC?

At the time of publishing, INZ's website shows that 80% of the applications are completed within 16 weeks.

What will happen to SMCs already submitted under the 180-point rule?

Nothing, they will continue as normal as per the rules applicable at the time they submitted their ITA.

Are there any mandatory base requirements for the 6-point SMC, regardless of points?

Yes, age, character, health, and English requirements. Also, you must have a ‘skilled’ job offer from an accredited employer.

What exactly is a ‘skilled’ job offer?

This definition is the same as ‘skilled’ under current SMC settings. ‘Skilled’ is a relatively complex assessment, but in simple words, it means your role is paid at least:  

1) the median wage for occupations classified at ANZSCO skill levels 1-3, or  

2) 1.5 times the median wage for occupations classified at ANZSCO skill levels 4-5. 

You must also be suitably qualified for the role via relevant experience or relevant qualification. 

Is there an age limit?

Yes, 55 years. 

Do I need to have studied in NZ to claim points for qualification?

No, you can use overseas qualification as long as the equivalency to the required level at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQF)can be established, either through IQA (International Qualification Assessment) or if it's on Appendix 3 (List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment).


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