Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has announced a targeted review of

the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of

Occupations (ANZSCO) job classification system, which has moved

some lower-skilled occupations over to the medium skilled

occupation group.

This is a positive update for employers looking to hire

individuals working in the impacted occupations, listed below.

INZ does not intend to use the updated version of ANZSCO until

mid-2020 but a transitional policy has been introduced in the

interim, allowing individuals currently working in these upgraded

occupations to benefit from the new version of ANZSCO.


Foreign national employees currently working in New Zealand in

the newly upgraded occupations may now be eligible to apply for a

medium-skilled work visa, provided they are being paid at or above

the median income rate (currently NZD 25 per hour or NZD 52,000 per

annum for a 40-hour week).

Holding a medium-skilled work visa allows employees to support

family for dependent visas and to avoid the stand-down period

imposed on low-skilled workers, which requires them to go home

after holding three 12-month work visas.

Individuals currently working in these occupations may also

qualify to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category,

especially if they apply before the median income threshold rises,

as anticipated by INZ.

Upgraded Occupations

The occupations that have been upgraded from low- to

medium-skilled include childcare worker, beauty therapist, tour

guide, bungee-jump master, bookkeeper, bank-worker, sewing

machinist, train driver, diving instructor and insurance

investigator. The full list is available here.

Upcoming Changes

The New Zealand government has recently proposed significant

changes to the employer-assisted work visa framework, including

removing the ANZSCO skill level assessment for Work Visas from


Jobs will instead be classified as “low” or

“high” paid. This will be based on whether the hourly

rate is above or below the median wage (currently NZD 25) Pay rate

together with “Labour Market Region” will determine the

length of visa issued ANZSCO will be retained for Skilled Migrant

Residence Visa assessments ANZSCO will still be used to ensure that

the rate of pay is not less than market rate and the visa applicant

is suitably qualified.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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