Immigration New Zealand have announced that a number of occupations (including child care workers, beauty therapists, travel consultants, personal care assistants and bookkeepers) have been upgraded from skill level 4 or 5 to skill level 1-3 in the new version of ANZSCO (the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations).

Although INZ will not be using the new version of ANZSCO to assess visa applications until mid 2020, the occupations that have been upgraded will now be treated as exceptions and INZ will consider these occupations as skill level 1-3 with immediate effect, provided the role pays at least the New Zealand median income.

The New Zealand median income is currently $25 per hour ($52,000 for a 40 hour week) but will increase to $25.50 ($53,040) soon.

What does this mean for temporary work and skilled migrant visas?

Occupations which have been “upgraded” to skill level 1-3 may now be eligible for skilled employment points under the Skilled Migrant Category or be classified as mid-skilled for an Essential Skills Work Visa, as long as the applicant earns at least the New Zealand median income. If you want to find out if you are eligible, take our Eligibility Assessment.

And if you have already submitted an Essential Skills Work Visa application for one of the roles considered to be an exception, INZ will now assess it as skill level 1-3 (as long as it pays at least the median income).

However, if a role is listed as an exception but does not pay the median wage, it will continue to be classified as skill level 4 or 5.

Which occupations have been upgraded?

The occupations which have been upgraded from skill level 4 or 5 to skill level 1-3 are as follows:

ANZSCO code and occupation

421111 Child Care Worker

421112 Family Day Care Worker

421114 Out of School Hours Care Worker

422116 Teachers’ Aide

423411 Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant

423413 Refuge Worker

451111 Beauty Therapist

451412 Tour Guide

451612 Travel Consultant

451811 Civil Celebrant

452211 Bungy Jump Master

452212 Fishing Guide

452213 Hunting Guide

452214 Mountain or Glacier Guide

452215 Outdoor Adventure Instructor

452216 Trekking Guide

452217 Whitewater Rafting Guide

452299 Outdoor Adventure Guides nec


551211 Bookkeeper

552111 Bank Worker

552211 Credit or Loans Officer

711211 Industrial Spraypainter

711311 Paper Products Machine Operator

711313 Sawmilling Operator

711611 Sewing Machinist

711711 Footwear Production Machine Operator

711712 Hide and Skin Processing Machine Operator

711713 Knitting Machine Operator

711714 Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operator

711715 Weaving Machine Operator

711716 Yarn Carding and Spinning Machine Operator

711799 Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators nec


712111 Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator

712916 Paper and Pulp Mill Operator

712921 Waste Water or Water Plant Operator

721112 Logging Plant Operator

721913 Paving Plant Operator

731311 Train Driver

821711 Construction Rigger

423313 Personal Care Assistant

452311 Diving Instructor (Open Water)

591212 Import-Export Clerk

599611 Insurance Investigator

599612 Insurance Loss Adjuster

This list can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website.

What if I currently hold a work visa for one of these occupations?

If you already hold a work visa, the skill level of your job will remain the same for the duration of your visa.

What does this mean for me?

We can assess if this change means you are now eligible for a mid-skilled Essential Skills Work Visa or a Skilled Migrant Resident Visa. If you want to find out, fill out our Eligibility Assessment.

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