Statistics New Zealand and the Australian Bureau of Statistics have completed a refresh of the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) list that will be published online from 5 November 2019.
While Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will not use the fully updated version of the ANZSCO until mid-2020 when the new Employer Assisted Work Visa policies start to be implemented, due to the fact that a number of occupations in the ANZSCO have been elevated from Skill Level 4 or 5 to Skill Level 1-3 in the new version, INZ is not going to wait until 2020 to apply those upgrades and instead will accept those upgrades with immediate effect.
What does this mean?
A number of occupations that were previously considered low-skilled will now be assessed as mid-skilled and will thus potentially allow the grant of residency under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and longer term work visas under the Essential Skills Category.
What occupations have been elevated and what are the requirements?
We set out below a list of the occupations that have been upgraded.
For any of these occupations if an individual is being paid at or above the median income rate (that is currently $25.00 per hour – $52,000 per annum based on a 40-hour week), the person can now potentially qualify for residency under the SMC and may also qualify for a mid skilled work visa that can be issued for a term of up to three years, with the visa also not being subject to the lower-skilled 12 month offshore stand down period.
Here are the roles:
Bungy Jump Master
Child Care Worker
Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant
Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator
Credit or Loans Officer
Diving Instructor (Open Water)
Family Day Care Worker
Footwear Production Machine Operator
Hide and Skin Processing Machine Operator
Insurance Loss Adjuster
Knitting Machine Operator
Logging Plant Operator
Mountain or Glacier Guide
Out of School Hours Care Worker
Outdoor Adventure Guides
Outdoor Adventure Instructor
Paper and Pulp Mill Operator
Paper Products Machine Operator
Paving Plant Operator
Personal Care Assistant
Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators
Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operator
Waste Water or Water Plant Operator
Weaving Machine Operator
Whitewater Rafting Guide
Yarn Carding and Spinning Machine Operator
In conclusion, elevation of the positions listed above to mid-skilled opens up the possibility of longer term three-year work visas for individuals currently employed in these roles, provides an opportunity to avoid the 12 month offshore stand down period and provides an opportunity to secure residency under the SMC
This is quite a significant concession for a few of these occupations. For example, we see a significant number of individuals being employed as crane/hoist or lift operators; and bookkeepers applying for residency under the SMC.
In addition, we expect a few individuals to look at changing their occupations to roles on this new list, particularly so when they are employed under very similar ANZSCO positions that are not considered “skilled”.
All current employers who have migrant employees employed in these particular roles should immediately consider whether or not an application can be made for a longer term temporary work visa or possibly even residency under the SMC. The reason for this is that the median income rate steadily increases over time and is a moving target. In the new policy release INZ has already suggested that this rate will increase to $25.50 per hour ($53,040.00 per annum based on a 40-hour week) soon.
Those individuals who are employed at $52,000.00 per annum but under $53,040.00 per annum should move very quickly to prepare and submit a new temporary work visa application and an SMC application if they meet all other eligibility criteria.
Those individuals employed in these occupations who are slightly under the current median income rate should consider (with their employer) whether or not it is appropriate to provide a small increase in income in order for a longer-term temporary visa to now be secured and also New Zealand residency, which will allow the individual concerned to make a permanent long-term employment contribution free from concerns regarding their ability to secure a further temporary visa.
Any employers or individual employees who would like to receive an assessment in relation to an ability to secure a longer term temporary visa extension and/or residence under the SMC are welcome to contact our firm for a free initial eligibility assessment.
If you require further information, please contact our team for guidance.