11 February 2021

INZ announces three new skilled dairy farming roles

Changes are being made to residence and work visa immigration instructions, to recognise Assistant Dairy Farm Managers and Dairy Herd Managers as skilled roles. This will mean that people employed in these occupations will now have a pathway to residence under the Skilled Migrant Category, as they may now be able to claim points for skilled employment.


This is a significant change, as dairy farming has long been a difficult industry for people looking to obtain residence under the SMC. INZ was previously only able to rely on two occupations against which to assess applications (one of which was skill level 1, the highest skill level, and the other skill level 5, the lowest) with no consideration for the range of dairy farming roles that sit between these two extremes. This meant that only applicants responsible for organising and controlling the operations of their entire farm had a realistic pathway to residence under SMC, restricting successful applications to those at Farm Manager level or above.


This is set to change, as Statistics New Zealand has engaged with the dairy sector and developed new task descriptions for three dairy roles that sit under the occupation of Dairy Cattle Farmer (121313) in version 1.3 of the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).


The three new sub category roles are:


  • Dairy Farm Manager (Skill Level 1)
  • Assistant Dairy Farm Manager (Skill Level 3)
  • Dairy Herd Manager (Skill Level 3)


With effect from 15 February 2021, the updated task descriptions will be used by INZ when undertaking a substantial match assessment. Given that these roles are all skill level 1-3, SMC applicants may now be eligible for points for skilled employment, subject to meeting remuneration and other requirements.


With the exception of the three dairy occupations noted above, INZ will continue to refer to ANZSCO version 1.2 when assessing residence and temporary entry applications. The pay rate will continue to be used when determining the duration of Essential Skills work visas.