Obvious political changes, but also considerable changes in immigration processing by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).



Skilled Migrant Residence (SMC)

Substantial increase in the points required from 100 to 160 making an offer of skilled employment a fundamental requirement to be granted a resident visa.

What is defined as ‘Skilled Employment’ and ‘relevance’ of work experience and qualifications continues to be argued with INZ and through the appeal system. Unfortunately, appeal decisions are not required to be referred to by INZ and so many of the same issues are repeated unnecessarily.



Work Visas are now based on whether a job is identified as high, medium or low skilled with salary levels added to the ANZSCO requirement.



Higher skilled Anyone earning above $35.24 per hour. Visas may be granted for up to 5 years.

Mid-skilled ANZSCO skill levels 1-3 and earning above $19.97 per hour. Visas may be granted for up to 3 years.

Low skilled ANZSCO skill levels 1-3 and earning less than $19.97 per hour and skill levels 4-5 earning less than $35.24 per hour.

Visas may only be granted for 12 months with a maximum of 3 years in NZ before the applicant must leave NZ for at least 12 months, They may not support partners or children, who must meet visa requirements in their own right.


Change of role:

If you wish to promote a migrant employee to a new position, we recommend that the completed work visa application be submitted to INZ at least 2 months before the expiry of the current visa.

When an application is made for a visa, INZ usually grant an interim visa to maintain the legal status of the applicant while the application is being processed.

If all the visa conditions remain the same, the Interim visa will allow the applicant to continue working. But;

If there are any changes, including to the position, the interim visa will only be granted as a visitor.

Because INZ visa processing times vary considerably between branches, type of visa and other pressures, it should be expected that a paper-based application may take at least 4-6 weeks to be processed. Online applications may be processed more quickly, but don’t count on it.

If there are challenges, that time will escalate and the applicant must stop work the day the visa expires. 

Bill - Full Circle

27 May 2018

In 1993 Matt Robson, my then lawyer and I established an immigration company. in 1996 he entered Parliamant and withdrew from the company, and I continued on with what was... more »

Family Categories - major changes

12 May 2012

Major changes to family categories effective 15 May 2012. Parent category closed with new categories to open in July.  Adult child and Sibling categories closed permanently. Click here for details.  ... more »

TV Interview

09 March 2012

Bill was interviewed on TV re the announcement by Immigration NZ of their visioin and system upgrade for 2015.  See the interview at: ... more »

NZI Business SME: Access Immigration

08 September 2010

An Auckland-based immigration consultancy that grew from humble beginings in the 1990s is now... To watch video on NZI Business SME: Access Immigration click here.... more »