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INZ is making changes to how we prioritise some resident visa applications

On 24 February 2020, we are making changes to the allocation of Skilled Migrant Category and Residence from Work Category applications. We will continue to prioritise people with occupational registration and those earning twice the median wage (currently NZD $51 an hour and NZD $106,080 a year). However, applicants for Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visas will no longer be prioritised.

Demand for applications under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work (RFW) Category has risen significantly over the past 18 months, resulting in an increase in processing times.

Who will be prioritised

We will continue to prioritise people with occupational registration and those earning twice the median wage (currently NZD $51 an hour or NZD $106,080 a year). Due to the volume of applications, applicants for Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visas will no longer be prioritised, unless they are either highly paid, or in an occupation requiring registration.

What this means for SMC and RFW applicants

This decision means the priority queue will be a smaller proportion of total applications on hand and INZ will be able to resume allocating applications from the general queue in the date order in which they were received. Allocation is when an application is given to an immigration officer to assess.

INZ acknowledges that increased wait times for allocation are an unavoidable consequence of increasing volumes of resident visa applications, but is confident that these changes will benefit more applicants.

INZ will review its approach to resident visa allocation and processing when the Government makes further decisions on the New Zealand Residence Programme.

Find out more

You can get more information about the changes, including what we know about how they will affect visa applicants and employers.