• Cavell Leitch

New Zealand Immigration Update - ANZSCO no longer used for the assessment of skill level


As announced last year, the ANZSCO will no longer be used to assess the skill level of job for essential skills work visas. Yesterday, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) confirmed that this will come into effect on 27 July 2020.

INZ will now use a simple remuneration threshold to determine whether a job is 'high' or 'low' paid. Work visa applications for jobs that are paid below the median wage (currently $25.50) will need to include a Skills Match Report (SMR) from the Ministry of Social Development, going forward. These low-paid visa holders will also need to spend 12 months outside of New Zealand after holding a low paid visa for 3 years. This is the same rule that is currently applies to lower-skilled work visa holders.

In the release last year INZ confirmed that the duration of an essential skills work visa would be determined by the region an individual is working in and whether they are paid above or below the median wage, under this new low/high-paid system. With updates to align with the temporarily reduced visa duration for low-paid workers,We expect a version of this will be implemented as part of this update.

A helpful summary was provided by INZ on visa duration and the necessary labour market testing for the different regions, when these changes were announced last year. This has been summarised below. Again, this will likely be updated, to align with the temporarily reduced visa duration for low-paid workers. It could also be updated to require advertising for high paid workers in all regions, given the unique labour market conditions, as a result of COVID-19.

More detailed information on the changes to ANZSCO are expected this week, and we will provide further updates as this information becomes available.

When ANZSCO will still be used

ANZSCO will still be used for:

  • Skilled Migrant Category Residence Visa assessments;

  • To ensure that the rate of pay for a position is not less than market rate; and

  • To assess whether applicants are suitably qualified for the position e.g. a Medical Doctor will still need a medical degree and professional registration, per the ANZSCO.


If you have any questions or need help navigating these new requirements, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team.

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