Law encouraging skilled migration outside Auckland takes effect

6 Nov 15



What is the change? A law has taken effect that provides incentives for migrants to find employment outside Auckland in order to become eligible for residence.

What does the change mean? Applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category residence stream will now receive 30 points, instead of the previous 10, if they hold a job or an offer of a job outside Auckland. The extra points are awarded subject to the condition that the migrants have held their role for more than 12 months, or if less than 12 months that they will continue to hold that job or a similar one which qualifies for the same points for a total of 12 months.

  • Implementation time frame: The rules took effect 1 November. Applicants who lodge Skilled Migrant Category Expressions of Interest after 1 November will automatically be awarded the additional points.
  • Visas/permits affected: Skilled Migrant Category residence visas.
  • Who is affected: Migrant workers wishing to apply for residence and companies employing skilled foreign workers in territories not covered by the Auckland Council.
  • Business impact: The law is intended to spur growth in areas outside Auckland and encourage skilled migrants to settle in other regions.

Background: The law was announced in July and took effect 1 November to spread skilled migration outside Auckland. According to a recent study, almost half of the roughly 10,000 skilled migrants move to Auckland after obtaining resident permits.

Applicants under the Entrepreneur Work Visa category will also benefit from the new law, receiving 40 points instead of 20 for setting up businesses outside Auckland. In addition, the law will benefit employers applying for Essential Skills work visas by allowing them to communicate directly with Work and Income New Zealand to complete labour market testing before filing a visa application.

BAL Analysis: The new rules will benefit migrants living outside Auckland. The other changes will also benefit entrepreneurs setting up businesses outside Auckland and employers wishing to hire migrants.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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