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Paused at the height of COVID-19 and border closures, the Government has announced the Skilled Migrant Category Expressions of Interest (EOI) will resume from the 9th November 2022.

The resumption will apply for those lodged with 160 points, which is the current threshold. If the applicant has any change of circumstances or information it is of benefit to update the Expression of Interest. After 9 November the points threshold increases to 180.

It should be noted that for EOI’s submitted before 9 May 2022 that are not selected on 9 November, the application will expire and not be reselected, as the EOI only has a life of 6 months.

Since the Accredited Employer Work Visa opened, more than 12,000 international migrants have applied for 511 different occupations across New Zealand. The Skilled Migrant Category provides a pathway for retaining the majority of these much-needed skills in New Zealand permanently.

Alongside resuming selections, consultation will begin on a new uncapped, simplified points system for migrants that fall outside existing programmes. This will further complement the new Green List and Highly Paid residence pathways.

The number of applications were restricted under the previous system through a planning range, resulting in only 40% of Skilled Migrant Category applications being processed in 2019.

The proposed changes include removing the planning range, so that all applications that meet the criteria will be processed. It will also include a more simplified points system, will set a clearer eligibility threshold and offer several ways for people to demonstrate their skill level.

Read more here on the New Zealand Immigration website.

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The changes proposed will also create a faster route to residence for very highly skilled migrants, such as university lecturers or scientists who hold a PhD. Other professionals, such as teachers and registered tradespeople, will have a clear route if they work for a period in New Zealand. The new system will improve processing times and there will be no cap on the number of people who can gain residence each year, as long as they meet the skills threshold.

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