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migrantnews.co.nz WELCOME TO NZ EXPO Settlement Info Advanced Career Planning Health Employment Welcome to NZ Expo Now into it’s 12th Year Voice of New Kiwis, International Students Mobile: 027 495 8477 I email: firstname.lastname@example.org I 27th Year of Publication Education & Training Business Opportunities Govt pushes up income threshold for residency and Work Skill Visas By SANDEEP SINGH WELLINGTON - Immigration New Zealand (INZ) lifted the minimum income threshold for residency and Essential Skill Work Visa applicants earlier this month. The INZ website mentions that the thresholds are indexed against the New Zealand median income and as previously announced, remuneration requirements are to be updated at the end of each calendar year based on New Zealand income data (which is released in September). This year the changes have been delayed until January to give employers and migrants enough time to adjust to the new thresholds. The change in thresholds, though largely expected as per previous announcements by INZ, will bring further distress to many applicants who are already struggling with the recently introduced minimum income threshold requirement for residency and essential skill work visas. In April this year the then Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse introduced a minimum income threshold of $41,537.60 for being eligible for an Essential Skill Work Visa. A minimum income threshold of $48,859.20 was introduced for resident visa applications under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC). This essentially means that an applicant seeking residency on the basis of mid-skilled level employment will have to have a minimum annual income of $48,860. These changes were implemented by INZ from August 15. Then INZ has quietly increased the minimum income requirement for essential skill work visas from $41,537.60 to $42,952 and for resident visas from the current $48,859.20 to $50,523.20. Annual income is calculated for a standard 40 hour week for 52 weeks in a year. The changes in minimum income threshold will come into effect from January 15, 2018. The INZ website says that visas that people already hold will not be affected. The changes to the income thresholds will not affect the duration or conditions of visas that have already been granted. However, a new application made on or after 15 January will be assessed against the new threshold. This may mean that the conditions or visa duration of the next visa could be different. For example, a chef paid $20 an hour would currently be considered mid-skilled, as the occupation is ANZSCO level 2 and the pay is above the existing threshold of $19.97. However, if he applied for a further visa after 15 January he would be considered low skilled, unless his pay increased to above the new threshold of $20.65. Changes in Skilled Migrant Category (Resident Visa) Threshold for skilled employment in an occupation at ANZSCO 1-3 Threshold Prior to 15 January: $23.49 per hour or above (or the equivalent annual salary) From 15 January : $24.29 per hour or above (or the equivalent annual salary) Changes in Essential kills work visa category Threshold for midskilled employment in an occupation at ANZSCO 1-3 Threshold Prior to 15 January : $19.97 per hour or above (or the equivalent annual salary) From 15 January : $20.65 per hour or above (or the equivalent annual salary) Editor – This article first appeared in the Indian Weekender. Labour has no mandate for immigration crackdown? “Labour, supported by NZ First, have indicated that they will reduce migration numbers by setting their target around 30,000 per annum.” - June Ranson The New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI), an association for immigration advisers, believes that there is no mandate for the new Labour-led coalition Government’s proposed crackdown on immigration. “Labour, supported by NZ First, have indicated that they will reduce migration numbers by setting their target at around 30,000 per annum. “What does this mean? 30,000 students, workers or residents?” questions NZAMI chair June Ranson, who notes that the new Government has said that it will welcome skilled migrants. Ms Ranson says that the Greens electioneered on more of an opendoor policy towards immigration and that they did not agree to reducing migrant numbers. “Does this mean that they have changed their mind as, based on the facts we have, there is no mandate in place. “The Labour-led coalition Government we now have is virtually a minority Government as the Greens are currently staying outside of the coalition cabinet and NZAMI chair June Ranson only have supply agreements. “If the Greens are going to stay with their current policy of allowing immigration, then how will the new Government be able to implement their policy of reducing migrant numbers? The new Government will have a very strong opposition party with experienced politicians. Where do the Greens fit in on this?” she comments. Keep it coming! Complimentary copies of our publications run out pretty fast at the designated pick-up points. 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