Bradley So is a Philippine born New Zealander who is is fluent in English and Tagalog. He has expertise in immigration, particularly business and skilled immigration and this week seeks to answer the question. I have a job as a Manager, am I eligible under the Skilled Migrant Category? To read more articles by Bradley click here. To read more about Bradley, click here. Remember if you are thinking of becoming a financial service provider get the best legal advice as early in the process as possible. To contact our immigration lawyers click here. To download the full article as a print friendly PDF click here.

If you are intending to apply under the Skilled Migrant Category, it is crucial that your job is assessed by a lawyer to ensure compliance with immigration instructions. In general, whether your application will be approved is dependent on your job offer. Depending on your work experience and qualifications, we would generally not recommend applying under the Skilled Migrant Category without a skilled job offer. As an example, a recent graduate without a skilled job offer is unlikely to be granted a residence visa. [See paper.] departure_board__auckland__mount_tongariro_eruption_N2

The first step is to understand how the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (“ANZSCO”) is used when determining if your job is skilled. ANZSCO is used by Immigration New Zealand (“INZ”) as a tool to assess whether an applicant’s job is skilled. ANZSCO is a database which classifies the skill level of occupations. For example, a doctor is considered a skill level 1, a restaurant manager is considered a skill level 2, and a mechanic is a skill level 3. Generally, the immigration instructions require the job to be classified between skill levels 1 – 3 to be recognised as skilled.

It is required that your job description substantially match the job description outlined in ANZSCO to be able to claim points for the job offer. For example, if you are a restaurant manager, ANZSCO provides the following:


• CAFE AND RESTAURANT MANAGERS organise and control the operations of cafes, restaurants and related establishments to provide dining and catering services.

Indicative Skill Level: Most occupations in this unit group have a level of skill commensurate with the qualifications and experience outlined below.

In Australia:

• AQF Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma (ANZSCO Skill Level 2)

Tasks Include:
The applicant must be able to show that the core tasks outlined above are being performed in their role. We note that the applicant is responsible for ensuring that the core tasks are being performed. This means that the applicant must maintain supporting evidence that the above tasked are being completed.

In addition, there are additional factors that an Immigration Officer can consider when assessing that the position substantially matches the above tasks. The factors include but are not limited to:

1) Size of the business – How many staff in the business? If the applicant is not managing any staff then it would be extremely difficult to satisfy INZ that they are in a management position.

2) Owner’s involvement – Is the owner of the business intricately involved in the business? Does the applicant have full responsibility for hiring or budgeting the finance of the business? If the decision-making for business operations is solely handled by the owner then it will be difficult to justify that the applicant is a manager. The distinction between a supervisor and a manager is a fine line but the consequence of failing to distinguish the role appropriately can lead to a decline. We note that a supervisor is not considered a skilled position.

3) Nature of the business – Is the business a franchise? If the business is a fast food franchise, then INZ will deem the owner of the franchise to be the manager.

Once you have a found a job title in ANZSCO that matches your job description, the next step is to look at Appendix 6 of the Immigration Instructions. Appendix 6 is a list of all skilled occupations that Immigration New Zealand recognises. There are three parts in Appendix 6 – Part A, Part B and Part C. Each part of Appendix 6 will determine how you can qualify for the Job Title. For example, if you have a job offer that is included in Part A or Part B, then you must have either the relevant work experience OR the relevant qualification. On the other hand, Part C requires that you must have both the relevant work experience AND the relevant qualification.

Taking the above example, a Restaurant Manager is a skill level 2 and this is included in Part B in Appendix 6. The applicant must therefore hold a diploma that is relevant to the Job such as a Diploma in Hospitality; or they must have at least 3 years of relevant work experience.  The Skilled Migrant Category is on paper relatively straight forward, however, it is always advantageous to seek professional help to ensure compliance and avoid stress involved in the application process. In most cases, this will actually save you time and money.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information about applying under the Skilled Migrant Category.