Effective July 27, 2020, the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) will no longer be used to assess the skill level of jobs for essential skills work visas.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will instead use a simple remuneration threshold to determine whether a job is ‘high’ or ‘low’ paid. Work visa applications for jobs that are paid below the median wage (currently $25.50/hour) will need to include a Skills Match Report (SMR) from the Ministry of Social Development, going forward. These low-paid visa holders will also need to spend 12 months outside of New Zealand after holding a low paid visa for 3 years. This is the same rule that is currently applies to lower-skilled work visa holders.

Last year, INZ confirmed that the duration of an essential skills work visa would be determined by the region an individual is working in and whether they are paid above or below the median wage. This is also expected to be implemented from July 27, with modifications to take into account the temporarily reduced visa duration for low-paid workers. Advertising may also be required for high paid workers in all regions, given the unique labor market conditions caused by COVID-19.

ANZSCO will continue to be used:

  • To assess Skilled Migrant residence visa applications;
  • To ensure that the rate of pay for a position is not less than market rate; and
  • To assess whether applicants are suitably qualified for the position (i.e. medical degree and professional registration for a medical doctor).

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact an immigration specialist for case-specific advice.


Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.