Changes to Skill match Report process and Border exceptions

Kindly refer to the below information relating to - 

Changes to the process of Skill Match Report

Changes to conditions for entry into New Zealand for some offshore visa holders and partners of NZ citizens and residents

Changes to the process of Skill Match Report


The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has created lists of occupations and regions where there is a clear over or undersupply of New Zealanders on Job Seeker Support.

Highlights - 

  • The over and undersupply lists are a temporary measure in response to the effects of COVID-19 on the labour market. They will be reviewed in early 2021, or sooner if there is a significant change.
  • These lists will be used from 7 October 2020. For applications submitted before 7 October 2020, the Skills Match Report submitted will be considered as part of the assessment of the application.
  • The changes are not permanent and will be reviewed in early 2021 and the ongoing need will be evaluated in light of the labour market conditions at the time, and in advance of implementation of planned reforms to the temporary work visa system (including strengthening of the labour market test).
  •  If a role is either on the undersupply list (indicating that there are very few New Zealanders available for a particular role and region), or an employer has obtained a Skills Match Report from MSD indicating that there are no New Zealanders available, an employer will be able to support a  work visa application.
  • It is important to note that the Skills Match Report is just one part of the labour market test; in order to support an application, employers will still need to show they have genuinely and publicly advertised the role so New Zealanders looking for work are likely to have seen it. Visa applications will also need to meet all other requirements of the visa (including that the job is paid at the market rate and that applicants meet health and character requirements).
  • Under and oversupply lists are not applicable for the roles paid above the median wage. 
  • Current visa holders can continue to work until their visa expires. There is no change to the current visas. 
  • Oversupply and undersupply list does not replace the immigration skill shortage lists including long term skill shortage list, regional skill shortage list, construction and infrastructure skill shortage list

Undersupply of New Zealand job seekers

For occupations and regions where there is an undersupply of New Zealand job seekers, employers no longer need a Skills Match Report for roles paying below the national median wage, currently $25.50 an hour.
Employers can support a migrant work visa application if they can show they have genuinely and publicly advertised the role so New Zealanders looking for work are likely to have seen it.
Roles that are oversupplied 
Oversupply of New Zealand job seeker

New Zealand’s immigration system is designed to ensure that New Zealanders are first in line for jobs, then enabling access to migrant workers where there is a genuine need that cannot be met.

For occupations and regions on the oversupply list, there are New Zealand job seekers on Job Seeker Support available. Employers can move straight to engaging with MSD to recruit New Zealand job seekers.
From 7 October 2020, we will not issue Skills Match Reports for roles that are oversupplied.

Retail and hospitality

Cafe worker (431211)

Cook (351411)

Commercial housekeeper (811411)

Domestic housekeeper (811412)

Fast food cook (851111)

Kitchenhand (851311)

Sales assistant (621111)

Shelf filler (891211)

Waiter (431511)


Builder's labourer (821111)

Concreter (821211)

Drainage, sewerage and stormwater labourer (821112)

Earthmoving labourer (821113)

Paving and surfacing labourer (821511)

Plumber's assistant (821114)

Administration and Call Centre

Admissions Clerk (542112)

Call or Contact Centre Operator (541112)

General Clerks (531111)

Hotel or Motel Receptionist (542113)

Information Officer (541211)

Medical Receptionist (542114)

Personal Assistant (521111)

Receptionist (General) (542111)

Secretary (521211)

Manufacturing and Warehousing

Baking Factory Worker (831111)

Confectionery Worker (831113)

Dairy Products Maker (831114)

Food and Drink Factory Workers nec (831199)

Fruit and Vegetable Factory Worker (831115)

Grain Mill Worker (831116)

Order Clerk (591117)

Product Assembler (832211)

Stock Clerk (591115)

Storeperson (741111)

Sugar Mill Worker (831117)

Warehouse Adminstrator (591116)


Delivery driver (732111)

No clear oversupply or undersupply
There is no change to the process for occupations and regions that are not on either the over or undersupply lists. A Skills Match Report is still required before an employer can hire a migrant earning below the national median wage, currently $25.50 an hour.

Exceptions to the Border Entry - Essential Skills Work Visa Holder and Work to Residence Work Visa holders

Individuals applying under this border exception must:

have been living in New Zealand for at least two years (or one year in some specific cases), and

Returning to the same job they held before departing New Zealand, or continue to operate a business in New Zealand as part of entrepreneur work visa, and

have departed New Zealand on or after 1 December 2019, and

have held either:

a Work to Residence visa, or 

an Essential Skills visa (assessed as mid-skilled or higher-skilled) when they departed New Zealand and does not expire before the end of 2020 or, if it is expiring before end of 2020, they must have applied for a further visa on the basis of the same job when they left that allows them to remain in New Zealand for 12 months or more before 10 August 2020.

More information

Requests received before this new category becomes operational in October will be assessed against the criteria in place at the time we received the request.

All individuals who are granted this exception will still be required to spend 14 days in managed isolation or quarantine (MIQ).

Temporary visa holders who were ordinarily resident in New Zealand in the last 12 months and left New Zealand on or before 19 March 2020 are exempt from MIQ charges.

Any temporary visa holders who left New Zealand after 19 March 2020 will be required to pay for their MIQ.

Exceptions for relationship-based visas

INZ has resumed processing some visa applications from people who are currently not in New Zealand.

Currently processing and deciding offshore applications for some relationship-based visas, if they are supported by a New Zealand citizen or resident

Processing, but not approving, offshore applications for selected visa categories.

Relationship-based visas supported by a New Zealander
INZ is processing offshore, supported applications for the following visas:
Partnership – Visitor                     Partnership
Partnership – Visitor                     Culturally Arranged Marriage
Partnership – Work                       Partnership                                                  
Partnership – Resident                 Partnership                                                  
Partnership – Resident                 Partnership – Partner of an Expatriate              
Dependent Child – Visitor            Child of NZ cit/res                                       
Dependent Child – Visitor            Adopted child
Dependent Child – Student          Child of NZ cit/res                         
Dependent Child – Resident         Family child dependent               
Dependent Child – Resident         Family child dependent – Dependant of an Expatriate
If granted a visa, these visa holders will be exempt from New Zealand border restrictions. The visa holder can travel to and enter New Zealand without seeking approval from INZ and will not need to submit an Expression of Interest for an exception to travel to New Zealand.
The list above does not include General Visitor Visa applications made on the basis of a relationship that does not meet immigration partnership requirements.