Skilled Migrant Category

Residency in New Zealand is what a lot of immigrants have as their end goal. To get the desired piece of paper in your passport you have to meet strict requirements. These requirements change from time to time, which can be frustrating for people in the process of getting their application together, as you might not meet the criteria anymore.
You can rest assured that I, as Licensed Immigration Adviser, stay on top of these changes and will inform clients about changes if they apply to them.Today Immigration New Zealand announced three major changes that might have an impact on your future resident visa application under the Skilled Migrant Category or the Parent Category.

Expression of Interest – Selection criteria

The first major change is about the selection criteria for Expression of Interests.

At the moment an Expression of Interest (EOI) is automatically selected from the pool if the applicant claims 140 points or more. In addition, EOI’s with more than 100 but less than 140 points but with a job offer also get selected.

As from tomorrow, 12 October 2016, EOI’s with 160 points or more will be selected automatically. No other selection criteria have been determined yet. I’ll keep a close look at the selections and the news from INZ to see if other EOI’s (with less than 160 points) get selected as well. For the immediate future only EOI’s with 160 points will be selected.

The majority of people will need a skilled job offer from a New Zealand employer to reach 160 points.

Skilled Migrant Category – English language requirements

The second major change involves how you can prove your English is up to the required standards. An IELTS test report is always accepted as proof. From November onwards other test results, such as TOEFL and Cambridge will be accepted too.

Next to that only citizens of certain English speaking countries (US, UK, Australia, Canada, Republic of Ireland) can claim an exemption. They must have completed at least 5 years of work or study in that country (or in New Zealand).
A second exemption exist for people who completed a recognised qualification comparable to a level 7 Bachelor Degree in one of the countries listed above (or New Zealand) where they studied at least 2 years in that country or a level 8 or higher degree with at least 1 year of study.

All other applicants (including secondary applicants) must take an IELTS test (or other approved test) and get the required overall band score.
Working in New Zealand for a minimum of 1 year is NO LONGER accepted as proof of English language ability.

Parent Category

The last major change is related to parents of immigrants. Only 2,000 applications will be accepted per year (5,000 now) and this means that until further notice (at least until the end of the 2017/2018 financial year):

  • no new applications will be accepted and
  • no selections will be made from the pool.

There are currently there sufficient numbers of people who have applied or been invited to apply to reach the set quotas for the next 2 years.

Applications that are already in the pool will stay there but as there will be no further draws over the next two years it is unlikely that you will be invited to apply during this period.