Changes to skilled migrant category effective 12 October 2016
NZ Immigration Specialist


Changes to the SMC points thresholds and English Language Requirements

Immigration New Zealand announced changes to the SMC points threshold effective 12 October 2016.  To be drawn from the EOI Pool Draw, Expression of Interests must now have 160 points or more.   Other changes affecting applicants are the new requirements to prove that principal applicants and their partners (if claiming points for partner qualifications or skilled employment) meet the minimum English language requirements.  All applicants will be required to sit one of 5 approved English Language Tests (IELTS, Occupational English Test, Cambridge English Test, Pearson Test of English and TOEFL) and obtain the minimum score required for each of these tests.

The only exceptions to the English language test requirement are as follows:

  • citizens of Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the USA who have spent at least five years in work or education in one of those countries of Australia or New Zealand; or
  • a recognised qualification comparable to a New Zealand level 7 bachelor degree and gained in Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the UK, the USA and New Zealand as a result of study undertaken for at least 2 academic years in one or more of those countries; or
  • a recognised qualification comparable to a New Zealand level 8 or above and gained in the above mentioned countries, where study has been for at least 1 academic year in those countries