How do you know if your employment can be classified as ‘skilled’?
The term skilled employment is defined as employment that requires specialist, technical or management expertise.
* Important changes have just been announced that will affect your points eligibility and will be implemented in mid-August 2017. Read more about the Skilled Migrant Category changes.
A few pointers to determine whether a job offer can be classified as skilled:Your offer of employment has to substantially match the description of a skilled occupation and, you must have at least one of the following:
- a relevant recognised qualification – the qualification must be at, or above, the qualification level on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) that corresponds to the skill level indicated for that occupation in the ANZSCO
- the relevant work experience that the ANZSCO indicates may substitute the required qualification
- the relevant requirements specified in column three of the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) for your occupation (if your occupation is included in the LTSSL)
- full or provisional registration for your occupation (if your occupation requires New Zealand registration by law to be undertaken)
- five years of relevant work experience in a Skill Level One occupation
- a relevant recognised qualification which is at, or above, level four on the NZQF (a qualification at level four must be a National Certificate or a New Zealand Certificate)
- the relevant work experience that the ANZSCO indicates may be substituted for the required qualification; or
- the relevant requirements specified in column three of the Long Term Skill Shortage List for your occupation (if your occupation is included in the Long Term Skill Shortage List)
- at least three years of relevant recognised work experience and a relevant recognised qualification which is at, or above, level four on the NZQF (a qualification at level four must be a National Certificate or a New Zealand Certificate), or
- at least three years of relevant recognised work experience and your employment, or offer of employment, has an annual base salary of at least NZ$45,000.
If your job/job offer does not meet the requirements above, it may still qualify for points for skilled employment if:
- your work will enhance the quality of New Zealand’s accomplishments and participation in the occupational area because you have an international reputation and record of excellence in that field; and
- you gained the expertise you need for the work through relevant recognised qualifications or work experience. What if you are self-employed?
In order to qualify for points, your job or job offer must be:
- full time (at least 30 hours per week)
- for a position that is paid by salary or wages or in terms of a contract for service – payment by commission and/or retainer are not acceptable
- ongoing and sustainable.
Ongoing means your job offer must be for employment with a single employer in a job which is clearly stated to be 'permanent', or 'indefinite', or for a term of at least 12 months, with an option for you of further employment after that time.
If you are offered a contract and have a history of working on contracts in your occupation, then this may be accepted as ‘skilled employment’ if Immigration New Zealand is satisfied that the work is likely to continue.
Sustainable means that Immigration New Zealand must be satisfied that the employer can afford to pay you the stated salary or wages.
What if you are self-employed?
You cannot claim points for skilled employment if the position is self-employed. If you are, or will be, self-employed and wish to gain residence, you may be eligible under one of the business migration categories.
How many points will you be able to claim for skilled employment?
|Points for skilled employment|
|Offer of skilled employment in New Zealand||50|
|Current skilled employment in New Zealand for less than 12 months||50|
|Current skilled employment in New Zealand for 12 months or more||60|
If your job is particularly valuable to New Zealand, you will be able to claim bonus points. A job or job offer in an identified future growth area gives you 10 more points. Work in an area of absolute skills shortage, or located outside Auckland is another 10 points each. Additionally, if your partner (as a non-principal applicant on your application) has a skilled job or job offer, you can claim another 20 points.
|Bonus points for skilled employment|
|Work in an identified future growth area||10|
|Work in an area of absolute skills shortage||10|
|Work outside Auckland||30|
|Partner has a skilled job or job offer||20|
You can claim bonus points if your job offer is outside of Auckland
Current skilled employment or an offer of skilled employment outside the Auckland region qualifies for 30 points.
The aim of providing bonus points for employment outside the Auckland region is to attract skills to other regions within New Zealand in order to support regional economic development.
Employment is outside the Auckland region if the principal applicant's entire or principal place of work is not within the territories covered by the Auckland Council.
Place of work is
- Where the employee comes or may come to eat, rest or get first aid or pay; or
- Where the employee comes or may come as part of the employee's duties to report in or out, get instructions, or deliver goods or vehicles; or
- Through which the employee may or must pass to reach a place of work
Our Advice:Whether or not your potential offer of employment can be classified as skilled under immigration regulations is a complex matter and we recommend that you talk to one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers to ensure that a job you are about to apply for or have been offered meets the policy requirements and will give you the necessary points for your Expression of Interest.
Are you eligible for a resident visa under Skilled Migrant Category?
Go back to our Quick Self-Check Guide to find out.
Read more about becoming a New Zealand resident through the Skilled Migrant Category:
- How many points will you need to have a realistic chance?
- Will you be able to claim points for your qualifications?
- Will you be able to claim bonus points for your professional expertise?
- Is your profession on one of the Skill Shortages Lists?
- Do you have to be registered in New Zealand?
- How can you get help with finding a job?
- Will you meet the English language requirements?
Ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers
If you want to find out more about obtaining the right visa for New Zealand, contact Julia Cooke, Licensed Immigration Adviser at NZIC.Ask Julia for a Free Assessment