SMC details explained

The Skilled Migrant Visa was finally reopened by the government on Wednesday, which is a welcome relief for the thousands of migrants who have submitted an Expression of Interest, and their employers, who have been hoping to keep their staff. It is also great news for all of those unable to gain residence through Resident Visa 2021, who now have an opportunity to have their residence considered through the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa.

When will the points change?

The SMC Resident Visa is being restarted using the same criteria that applied when the category was shut down in March 2020. The first draw from the pool will be on 9 November for migrants with 160 points, which is the current threshold.

The system will then be ‘put to sleep’ until 18 January 2023 when the next draw will occur, but with an increased points threshold of 180. Selections will then take place on the third Wednesday of each month. This is different from the past when selections occurred every fortnight.

If you cannot meet the required threshold and you put your EOI in before 9 May this year, your EOI will be expired and removed from the system.

What migrants need to know

If you meet the points threshold, you will be invited to apply for an SMC Resident Visa and have four months to submit your application.

However, those who are forced to apply for residence by this method may encounter issues relating to proving a substantial match between your job offer and the ANZSCO description of your job.

Otherwise, the only choice will be to hope that the reinvention and brand-new skilled migrant system being proposed will assist you. However, the new six-point system is placing more value on qualifications and experience. This could be a problem for those who do not have at least a bachelor’s degree or those who don’t work in an area that requires occupational registration and do not earn one-and-a-half times the median wage.

Those who have already filed an EOI and wish to withdraw from the process and request a refund should do so before 9 November 2022. Refunds are not available after the EOI has been selected.

Our advice to migrants

If you already have an EOI submitted, make sure that your details are still accurate and up to date, for example, make sure your English language test hasn’t expired, and that your skills are still on the IQA list as exempt from assessment. (You can check that detail here) 

If this is your final hope for achieving residence in New Zealand, and you have any doubts or concerns regarding the content of your EOI, your eligibility, or proving that there is a substantial match between your job and the ANZSCO description of your job, you should seek professional help and advice from an expert.

For professional advice about your Expression of Interest, your eligibility, or any other questions about the Skilled Migrant Visa, contact the experts at New Zealand Immigration Law who can assist you at any stage of the application process.

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