New 6 Point Pathway to Residence in New Zealand: A Guide for South Africans Considering Immigration

New Zealand immigration

Are you a qualified professional from South Africa considering moving to New Zealand? If so, you should be aware of a recent proposal for immigration reforms. The New Zealand government unveiled a new six-point road to residence for highly qualified immigrants from October 9, 2023. In this blog, we’ll discuss the key concepts of the new system and how it will affect South Africans who want to immigrate to New Zealand.

The Six-Points Approach

The new immigration process is based on a six-point framework. Points can be accumulated by highly competent immigrants depending on their credentials, professional experience, and job offers in New Zealand. Candidates must obtain a total of six points from the following categories to qualify for residence:

  1. Work experience in New Zealand: up to three years of employment in the country.
  2. Education Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree (or above) from a reputable institution is required, or
  3. Jobs Requiring Registration: A position requiring at least two years’ worth of ‘training’ to be registered locally, or
  4. High Salary: A wage 1.5–3 times the gross national median wage.

What Has Changed With the New System?

The primary distinction is the lack of an annual cap or quota on resident visas under the skilled migrant category. The new structure is entirely driven by labour market policy. In addition, instead of being issued for three years, Accredited Employer Work Visas will now be valid for five years. Another notable change is the addition of the two-year “work to residence” visa to the points system.

Who Won and Who Lost?

The new approach gives an advantage to individuals with higher education, English language proficiency, and potential for high earnings. The main winners will be South Africans with Bachelor’s degrees or higher who are good cultural matches for New Zealand firms and earn well. However, people with 2- to 3-year diplomas or certificates and most tradies, technicians, hair stylists, and drafters may need help qualifying for residency as it will take longer to qualify for residence.

Effects on Skilled Workers in South Africa

The new points system presents opportunities and challenges for qualified workers in South Africa. The Green List’s (in-demand jobs) lack of work experience gives applicants for resident visas additional options. 

Putting Work Into Residence

Candidates must carefully plan their approach to gaining work experience in New Zealand. While the new system opens doors for talented immigrants, it also necessitates proactive measures to earn the necessary points and adhere to evolving immigration laws.

Moving forward

Skilled workers from South Africa must be informed and ready as New Zealand adopts the new six-point road to residence. The skilled migrant category is changing, therefore, getting expert guidance can be very helpful in reaching your immigration objectives. 

Getting Expert Immigration Advice

Consulting with knowledgeable immigration advisors is essential, given the complexity of the new immigration system. Our team of professionals at Tri-Nations Migration can help South African professionals through the immigration procedure to New Zealand. We are here to support you every step of the journey, whether you need assistance understanding the points system, compiling your application, or dealing with specific challenges.