Major INZ Immigration Updates October 2022

17 Oct, 2022


As you likely have heard in the media, there have been some significant announcements from Immigration New Zealand in recent days. These include the reopening of two major residence categories which have been on hold due to the pandemic. This is good news for employers looking to fill workforce shortages and staff looking to bring family over to.

Below is an update on these three key announcements:

Skilled Migrant Category Reopens – points change and upcoming draw

Parent Resident Visa Category Reopens – allowing staff to bring family to New Zealand

Updates to Median wage – affecting AEWV pay rate thresholds


The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is a popular pathway to New Zealand Residence and is now back open!

Under this category, applicants submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI).

If selected, and points based criteria is met, they are invited to apply for Residence. Points are calculated by assessing criteria such as qualifications, NZ job offer, age, and level of experience.

On reopening the SMC last week, Immigration New Zealand also announced their intention to revisit this category again next year to make further improvements such as faster processing times and allowing all vs some applicants that meet criteria to be processed. These improvements are proposed for mid 2023.

Key dates for SMC EOI selections

The first selection for 2022 will take place on November 9 and include all EOIs already submitted, as well as any new EOI’s submitted. Those who already have an EOI in place can chose to withdraw for a refund or keep the EOI in the system. In order to meet this selection, EOI’s must meet the 160 point requirement including skilled employment for this selection date.

The second selection will take place on January 18 2023.

EOI’s will be required to meet 180 points for this selection date.

Following January, a monthly selection will take place for EOI’s meeting the 180 point threshold.

Need clarification on SMC category? Get in touch now and we can help you create a plan to get the people you need for your business.


Also announced on Wednesday was the resuming of the Parent Resident Visa.

Overseas parents of New Zealand citizens or residents, can move to Aotearoa under this category if they fulfil criteria. This is crucial news for those with staff on a visa looking to bring family to New Zealand and will aid both attraction and retention of overseas talent to New Zealand.

Who is eligible for the Parent Resident Visa Category?

New Zealand residents or citizens, who have been NZ-based for at least 3 years and meet criteria, can sponsor their parent’s application for residence.

The category critetia will remain largely the same with some lightening of requirements as follows:

  • Income threshold for sponsors lowered from twice the median wage to 1.5 times the median wage.
  • Widening of the Joint sponsorship arrangements, to allow two adult children to combine their income in order to meet criteria vs partner only.
  • Parent Resident Visas granted annually will increase to 2,500.
  • The Expression of interest (EOI) selection process will move to a ballot system for all existing EOI’s and EOI’s received from 12 October 2022 until the first selection on 14 November 2022. A Ballot selection will take place every three months thereafter.

Have staff looking to apply for the Resident Parent Visa category? Get in touch now and we can help you manage this.


Further updates have been announced to median wage, affecting the pay requirements for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and other visas.

The current median wage of $27.76 an hour will increase to $29.66 an hour, from 27 Feb 2023.


  • New Zealand citizens
  • New Zealand permanent resident or Resident Visa holders
  • Australian citizen or Permanent Resident Visa holders
  • Partner or dependent child of a New Zealand citizen or resident, holding visas based on relationship
  • Work Visa Holders who still meet the visa conditions (i.e. if it is based on a job, that job offer still stands)
  • Student Visa Holders who still meet the visa conditions
  • Critical Purpose Visa holders
  • Working Holiday Visa holders
  • Visitor Visa holders
  • Transit Visa holders
  • Work Visa holders