Beware of the Upcoming Changes to Work Visa Instructions (Essential Skills)

07 Mar Beware of the Upcoming Changes to Work Visa Instructions (Essential Skills)


Michael Kors is a graduate fashion designer, who has recently launched his new fashion brand ‘MK’ in High Street, Auckland. His trendy ‘Black and white’ signature style has soon become a hot topic in town, stirring attention from the fashion people and customers.

Seeing unattended customers turning their backs out of the shop, Michael felt a desperate need to hire an assistant, who could ‘sell’ his fashion concept.

He lists a vacancy on ‘Trademe’, interviews half a dozen job seekers and finds Coco, who has recently graduated from a fashion school in France.

Michael puts together documents for Coco’s work visa application including the job ad and her employment agreement. He sends it away, hoping to get Coco start working as soon as possible.

He finds the whole application returned on his desk a week later. Enclosed is a letter asking for the ‘Skill Match Report’ for the shop assistant role for Coco.

Michael gets perplexed. ‘WTF is the Skill Match Report anyway?’

INZ is about to implement a new procedure for work visa applications for low-skilled occupations (skill levels 4 and 5), requiring the employers to list their vacancies through Work and Income NZ (WINZ) and obtain a Skill Match Report (SMR), confirming the availability of the NZers for the roles.

It will become a mandatory lodgment requirement, meaning that applications without an SMR will not be accepted for consideration (For more information, see

When does it start? INZ previously announced that the new requirement would come to effect from March 2016. It is however expected sometime in April this year.

For more information about how to get an SMR, please see


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