Always select this for every post in addition to the main category
Skilled migrant visa changes that were first announced on 19 April 2017 are now coming into effect on 28 August 2017. This includes changes to the essential skills visa, also implemented on the same day.
These changes affect many aspects of the skilled migrant visa policy, including:
- The way that ‘skilled employment’ and ‘work experience’ are assessed and awarded points.
- The points awarded for work experience, qualifications and age.
- Some points are also being removed:
- Points for employment, work experience and qualifications in identified future growth areas.
- Points for qualifications in areas of absolute skills shortage.
- Points for close family in New Zealand.
We understand that this amount of change in one of the most popular visa categories could raise a lot of questions and concerns. This is why we’re going to do two things for you now:
- Answer some of the questions that you’re probably asking yourself.
- Give a summary of the changes.
Afterwards you are more than welcome to call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200 for a more detailed discussion.
Questions and answers on the skilled migrant visa changes
Is it all bad news for me?
No, not necessarily.
As per the New Zealand government, there will be an impact on some people in lower-paid employment. However, the changes expand the definition of skilled employment to allow some people to gain residence who have previously been unable to claim points for their employment in New Zealand.
How will this be possible?
People who are not currently considered to be in skilled employment because their job is not an ANZSCO skill level 1, 2 or 3 occupation will be able to claim points for their job if they meet the relevant remuneration threshold.
What particular types of applicants benefit from the changes?
The changes to the visa put more focus on:
- Skilled work experience;
- More recognition of skill levels in the 30 – 39 age group; and
- High remuneration levels.
Why is the skilled migrant visa changing?
Immigration New Zealand has said in their statement that the changes have been made to:
‘improve the skill composition of people gaining residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and ensure we attract migrants who bring the most economic benefits to New Zealand’.
Has the process for applying for residence under the skilled migrant visa changed?
No, the application process has not changed.
I have already submitted my skilled migrant visa application but it has not yet been finalised. What will happen to my application if it’s not decided until after the changes come into effect?
Your application will not be affected by the changes. Because it was submitted before the changes come into effect, your application will continue to be assessed under the instructions in place at the time you made your application.
Summary of the skilled migrant visa changes
The changes to the skilled migrant visa include:
- The introduction of remuneration thresholds as an additional means of defining skilled employment:
- Jobs at ANZSCO skill levels 1, 2 and 3 must be paid at or above NZ$23.49 per hour. This equates to a salary of NZ$48 859 per year based on a 40 hour week.
- Jobs that are not ANZSCO skill level 1, 2 or 3 must be paid at or above NZ$35.24 per hour. This equates to a salary of NZ$73 299 per year based on a 40 hour week.
- More points available for work experience. However, points will only be awarded for work experience that is skilled.
- Ten (10) points will be awarded for skilled New Zealand work experience of 12 months or more.
- No additional points will be awarded for work experience of two years or more.
- Points for recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualifications (Master’s degrees and Doctorates) will increase to 70 points.
- Points for people aged 30 – 39 years will increase to 30 points.
- Points will only be awarded for partners’ qualifications if the qualifications are either a:
- Bachelor’s level degree or higher; or
- Post-graduate (level 9 or 10) qualification.
- Points will no longer be available for:
- Employment, work experience and qualifications in identified future growth areas.
- Qualifications in areas of absolute skills shortage.
- Close family in New Zealand.
- Applicants who meet the health, character, English and selection point requirements BUT who do not have either skilled employment or a higher degree gained in New Zealand, will be invited to apply for a ‘job search visa’ to enable them to find ongoing skilled employment in New Zealand.
- There will be greater flexibility for offshore applicants to travel to New Zealand within the 12 month validity of their ‘job search visa’.
Do you have your heart set on taking your family to New Zealand?
Then you must read our six tips on New Zealand emigration. Each tip will reveal one thing you can do to set yourself up for success.
Let’s get straight to them…
You won’t be able to enter New Zealand without a valid visa and you definitely won’t be able to work, study, do business or retire in New Zealand without the appropriate visa.
How do you find out if you qualify for a New Zealand visa?
You have two options:
- Do all the research yourself.
- Get help from an emigration adviser.
Our advice? Chat to an adviser. An adviser has what you don’t – expert knowledge on New Zealand emigration and experience in the industry.
Very important – ensure the adviser you approach is licensed! It is required by New Zealand law that immigration advisers for the country must be either licensed or exempt.
As said above, you can tackle your emigration on your own or with the help of a licensed adviser.
Our recommendation will always be to work with an adviser. This is not just because we’re advisers ourselves:
New Zealand immigration regulations tend to change often.
If you don’t have the latest information, you could waste a lot of time and energy on incorrect visa applications. Don’t forget about the money you also stand to lose!
It’s easy to make mistakes when working out your points score for a skilled migrant visa
Our office regularly get calls from people just like you, excitedly telling us they qualify for a New Zealand skilled migrant visa. Unfortunately it’s often not the case because either:
- The calculation was done with a free online tool; or
- The calculation was done manually. In other words, the person had the points score system in front of them and did the calculation themselves.
The problem with online tools is that pertinent questions around qualifications and work experience are often not asked.
The reason behind manual errors are the same. It’s the background information and nuances you’re not aware of that could make all the difference in your score.
You won’t have these problems when you get a licensed adviser to help
As we said earlier, a licensed adviser has expert knowledge on New Zealand emigration and industry experience:
- You’ll have access to updated visa information at each moment of your application.
- You can rest assured that the person calculating your skilled migrant visa points score knows exactly what they’re doing.
Ask about other services too. Your emigration adviser should be able to help with the compilation of your application too.
Let us stress one more time – your emigration adviser must be licensed.
You’ll need to submit a lot of documentation with your application. Find out as soon as you can what would be required of you. Once you know, start getting it all together.
The sooner you can submit your visa application, the sooner you can proceed with the next steps.
Would you like to make your application safe in the knowledge that you have a job offer? Or do you ideally want to get a job shortly after you’ve settled?
Then start the work now. Research employers, prepare a New Zealand-style CV, register your details with recruiters and so on.
Obviously job hunting in a foreign country is daunting, so here is information and resources to help you out:
- Our 3 golden rules for looking for a job in New Zealand.
- How to get a job in New Zealand.
- Working in New Zealand.
- New Zealand CVs and cover letters.
There will be many differences between how things are done in New Zealand and your home country. The little things, like whether to tip or not after a meal, can be figured out once you get to New Zealand.
However, the bigger things, like health insurance, you should research beforehand. You certainly don’t want to have your family withouth health insurance during an emergency!
Other areas worth investigating before your New Zealand emigration would be:
It could also be good to read up on the New Zealand way of working if you’re going over there to work.
You might think that you’ve considered all the costs of setting up a new life in New Zealand, but trust us – surprise expenses pop up all too often.
With a financial buffer built into your planning you’ll be able to much better face costs that come as a surprise. This could be anything from having to pay import costs on something you didn’t expect to need, to admin fees on contracts or rental agreements. The little costs tend to add up quickly!
The most important is number 1 – check your eligibility for New Zealand emigration!
We cannot stress this enough – you must start by finding out if you do in fact qualify for a New Zealand visa.
Why don’t you book an assessment with us now? The initial assessment will be free!
It’s only when you know for sure that you can emigrate to New Zealand that you should go ahead, knowing you’re pursuing a dream that is actually within reach. This is the only way to protect your family, your time and your money.
The short answer is ‘yes’, your parents can also come to New Zealand – which a lot of people are happy to hear! However, of course, this is subject to certain conditions and qualifying criteria.
Here we’ll tell you more about the three types of visas parents of New Zealanders may apply for:
- Parent Retirement Resident visa.
- Parent Resident visa.
- Parent and Grandparent Visitors visa.
Parents with an adult child in New Zealand may apply for the Parent Retirement Resident visa. Applicants will have to meet certain income and capital requirements.
How much income and capital are required?
Applicants will need:
- An annual income of NZ$60 000;
- NZ$1 million to invest in New Zealand for four years; plus
- NZ$500 000 to live on.
What you can do on a parent retirement resident visa:
- Live, work and study in New Zealand.
- Include a partner in the visa application.
- Apply for permanent residence after 4 years of keeping funds invested in New Zealand.
Read more about the Parent Retirement Resident visa here.
The Parent Residency visa allows parents to pursue residency in New Zealand based on their adult child’s status as a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. This will allow parents to live, work and study in New Zealand.
BUT unfortunately this visa is temporary closed to new applications.
This is because INZ has already made a sufficient number of selections and invitation to fill the cap set by the New Zealand government.
New applications will only be invited when all the current applications have been processed. According to INZ, this is likely to take until after the end of the 2017/18 financial year.
Parents, and grandparents, can visit family in New Zealand on a Parent and Grandparent Visitors visa.
The great thing about the visa is that it allows multiple visits on the same visa for extended time periods. And it could be an alternative to the Parent Resident visa for your parents!
Travelling on the Parent and Grandparent Visitors visa
- The Parent and Grandparent Visitors visa is a three-year visa which allows multiple entries into New Zealand.
- Over this three-year period you may remain in New Zealand for 6 months at a time.
- The 6 months starts from your date of arrival in New Zealand.
This means you can visit often and for longer periods of time on one visa.
What does the visa allow?
With the Parent and Grandparent Visitors visa you can:
- Visit children or grandchildren in New Zealand.
- Travel in and out of New Zealand multiple times.
- Include your partner in the visa application.
Read more about the Parent and Grandparent Visitors visa here.
To assess the chances of your parents joining you in New Zealand, simply book an assessment with one of our advisers.
The initial assessment is free and will highlight all available migration pathways. You’ll be able to rest assured that all options have been explored, giving your parents the best chance at joining you, or visiting you, in New Zealand.
Here is what the Hanekoms had to say:
16 July 2017
To Whom It May Concern
In September 2016 we embarked on a life changing journey called “Immigration”!
We knew that it would be a long road ahead with a few bumps along the way; but we were however, not alone.
We decided that in order to complete the entire process correctly, we needed somebody who was experienced in this field!
We got into contact with Mrs Maike Versfeld from Intergate Emigration Services.
We found them on the internet, completed all the forms required to see if we were even eligible, and then began.
Intergate handled our immigration process very professionally, even when they received 101 emails from us probably asking the same questions over and over again.
We managed to get our work visas approved and then applied for residency as soon as we were able, with Maike advising and liasing with Immigration New Zealand and ourselves constantly.
Needless to say, we are now proud Kiwis!! Without the assistance from Maike and her team at Intergate this would not have been possible!!
I can highly recommend their services and my suggestion to whomever is considering immigration – Intergate is the only way to go.
Thank you so very much Maike and Intergate for our new life in New Zealand that you have assisted in achieving.
As Intergate, we are thrilled to have been able to help the Hanekom family achieve their dream. If you’d like us to help you too, why don’t you get in touch with Maike on +27 (0) 21 202 8200. Your family could also soon be proud Kiwis.
Government to keep track of certain South Africans expats
This piece of legislation – i.e. it is not law yet – states that South African citizens who plan to be out of the country for longer than three months will soon be compelled to register with the government. The purpose of this is keeping track of South Africans abroad and curbing the high emigration rate.
The White Paper also detailed South Africa’s main emigration and immigration targets to be reached by 2063; how South Africa plans to deal with the flood of immigrants from neighbouring African countries; and policies that would include the free movement of people within the SADC.
It is the first time emigration control has appeared in Home Affairs policy and according to reports, it is directly attributed to the high number of skilled workers and taxes leaving South Africa.
Here’s what you should do about this…
“If you are thinking of emigrating, now might be the time to start”, says Stuart James, Intergate Emigration Director.
The new piece of legislation might not make emigration impossible, but it could very well complicate the process for you and your family.
Starting is simple – all you have to do is book a pre-assessment with us to help determine your eligibility to live in New Zealand.
Our pre-assessment is free, so you’ll have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Read more about this legislation on The South African.
New Zealand Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse announced on 19 April 2017 that New Zealand will make a host of changes to their immigration policy to better manage immigration and improve the long-term labour market contribution of temporary and permanent migration.
The official statement
The official statement from Minister Woodhouse is as follows:
“The Government is committed to ensuring inward migration best supports the economy and the labour market. It’s important that our immigration settings are attracting the right people, with the right skills, to help fill genuine skill shortages and contribute to our growing economy.
That is why we are making a number of changes to our permanent and temporary immigration settings aimed at managing the number and improving the quality of migrants coming to New Zealand.”
Changes to permanent immigration settings include introducing two remuneration thresholds for applicants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), which will complement the current qualifications and occupation framework.
“One remuneration threshold will be set at the New Zealand median income of $48,859 a year for jobs that are currently considered skilled. The other threshold will be set at 1.5 times the New Zealand median income of $73,299 a year for jobs that are not currently considered skilled but are well paid,” Mr Woodhouse says.
The SMC points table, under which individuals claim points towards their residence application, will also be realigned to put more emphasis on characteristics associated with better outcomes for migrants.
Collectively these changes will improve the skill composition of the SMC and ensure we are attracting migrants who bring the most economic benefits to New Zealand.”
The New Zealand government is also proposing a number of changes to temporary migration to manage the number and settlement expectations of new migrants coming to New Zealand on Essential Skills work visas.
These changes include:
- The introduction of remuneration bands to determine the skill level of an Essential Skills visa holder, which would align with the remuneration thresholds being introduced for Skilled Migrant Category applicants
- The introduction of a maximum duration of three years for lower-skilled and lower-paid Essential Skills visa holders, after which a minimum stand down period will apply before they are eligible for another lower-skilled temporary work visa.
- Aligning the ability of Essential Skills visa holders to bring their children and partners to New Zealand with the new skill levels.
- Exploring which occupations have a seasonal nature and ensuring that the length of the visa aligns with peak labour demand.
Closing words from Minister Woodhouse
Minister Woodhouse ended off his announcement with the following:
“I want to make it clear that where there are genuine labour or skills shortages, employers will be able to continue to use migrant labour to fill those jobs.
However, the Government has a Kiwis first approach to immigration and these changes are designed to strike the right balance between reinforcing the temporary nature of Essential Skills work visas and encouraging employers to take on more Kiwis and invest in the training to upskill them.
We have always said that we constantly review our immigration policies to ensure they are fit for purpose and today’s announcement is another example of this Government’s responsible, pragmatic approach to managing immigration.”
What happens now?
Public consultation on the changes to temporary migration settings closes on 21 May 2017, with implementation planned for later this year.
If you are contemplating moving to New Zealand, it may be a good idea to learn some basic facts about the country. Too often than not, excited families pack up their lives and move to New Zealand, without even stopping to learn the fundamental basics.
If you are one of the many people, who are seriously looking at migrating to New Zealand for the rest of your life, it may be a good idea to learn some basic facts. All too often the excitement of migrating kicks in and the very basics are often overlooked.
Here are some basic answers to some simple questions, which will help to increase your knowledge about New Zealand. In addition, it should offer you some valuable information should you wish to make the big move to New Zealand.
Where exactly is New Zealand?
Although this may seem a fairly simple question, not everybody is aware of the fact that New Zealand is actually a group of islands in Oceania, southeast of Australia.
What is the capital city of New Zealand?
The capital city in New Zealand is Wellington. The largest city is Auckland. The three biggest cities are Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
What is the population of New Zealand?
We have all seen pictures of New Zealand which are filled with vast open green spaces, but what exactly is the population size?
To give you an idea, there are on average around 4.5 million people in New Zealand. This is equivalent to cities such as Singapore and Barcelona. It is similar in size to countries such as Ireland and Palestine.
What is the time zone in New Zealand?
New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see a new day. It is 12 hours ahead of the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). New Zealand is usually 12 hours ahead of the UK.
New Zealand makes use of “daylight savings” in the summer time, where they put the clocks forward by one hour in order to be able to enjoy longer summer days and longer summer evenings.
What are the official languages spoken in New Zealand?
The New Zealand languages consist of English (official), Maori (official), New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) (official) and Kiwi Slang (unofficial). The primary language in New Zealand is English.
How many public holidays are there in New Zealand?
There are on average, ten public holidays a year.
Included in these ten days are Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday and the Queen’s Birthday.
What is a “Kiwi”?
We all have heard the term “Kiwi” but what exactly does it mean and where does it come from? Firstly it needs to be noted that the Kiwi is New Zealand’s national emblem, which is a flightless bird with hair-like type feathers with a long and slender bill. It makes use of this bill to pull worms and insects out from the ground.
It is only found in New Zealand and it is active only during the night time in specific wilderness areas of the country. When you are in New Zealand you can visit a “kiwi house” where you will be have the opportunity to watch them with the use of special nocturnal lighting.
In addition, the people of New Zealand refer to themselves as “Kiwis” and it is also used as a shorter term for the kiwifruit. On the stock exchange, the New Zealand Dollar is also referred to as “the Kiwi”.
Are there any dangerous animals in New Zealand?
The good news for outdoor lovers as well as for parents is that there are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand. This is one of the many benefits of living in New Zealand.
You and your family will have the opportunity to enjoy the wide variety of outdoor activities without the stress and hassle that usually comes along with it.
What side of the road do people in New Zealand drive on?
In New Zealand it required by law that everybody drives on the left-hand side of the road.
What is the most popular sport in New Zealand?
Rugby is the most popular sport in New Zealand. New Zealand is a country which values a rich variety of sports such as cricket, netball, football and golf amongst various others.
Rugby is played and enjoyed all year round. Netball is a very common sport for women which, is played during the winter months. Cricket is a popular sport which is enjoyed during the summer time.
What is the climate in New Zealand?
The seasons of New Zealand are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere. This basically means that the warmest months take place in December, January and February.
The coldest months are in June, July and August. The good news is that the winter months have a tendency to be short and mild.
I wish to immigrate to New Zealand what do I do?
If you wish to immigrate to New Zealand it may be worth your while to look into all the options available to you for immigrating to New Zealand.
In addition, it is going to be worth your while to consider making use of a licensed immigration advisor who will be able to advise you best accordingly.
Remember that a licensed immigration advisor for New Zealand has the knowledge and expertise necessary to help make your dream of migrating to New Zealand a reality.
Booking an assessment of finding out more
If you would like to find out more about our services or book an assessment with us simply call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200 (SA). Alternatively, send us an email.
Below is our ‘fools guide’ to the New Zealand Immigration Points System.
If you would rather speak to a human being just give us a call on either + 27 (0) 21 202 8200 (SA) or +44 (0) 1392 531730 (UK).
What role does the New Zealand Immigration Points System play in your prospective immigration?
Any skilled migration for New Zealand residency will require you to take a points test. In fact the point’s assessment is probably the most crucial aspect of your prospective New Zealand immigration.
Why is the New Zealand Immigration Points System so crucial?
New Zealand is a popular immigration destination with many thousands of people wishing to migrate there. As with all other countries, New Zealand has to balance its human resource requirements with protecting local employment.
It all begins with assessing whether the person qualifies for New Zealand Immigration.
The point’s score you achieve dictates whether or not you can apply for an expression of interest. If done incorrectly the consequences are severe:
• Wasted money
• False hopes
• The wrong score meaning a missed change of immigration.
What does the point’s score look at?
The points score can be seen as a little complex which is why we recommend it is done by a licensed immigration advisor such as ourselves. The areas it covers include:
• Close family residing in New Zealand.
• Skilled employment.
• Bonus points for employment in certain sectors or regions.
• Work experience in skilled employment.
• Bonus points for work experience in New Zealand.
• Bonus points for experience in identified future growth areas.
• Bonus points for qualifications.
What points total must you achieve?
The rule is very clear 100 points must be achieved to make an expression of interest. However there is much discussion around this due to whether the cost of making the expression of interest is in fact worth the expense of doing so.
During the last 12 months the reality is the applicant has been selected from the expression of interest pool with a score under 140 points that does not have a job offer. Recent changes have now seen this increase to 160 points.
Therefore many individuals have gone to the expense of making an expression of interest application when the chances were ‘slim to nothing’ of being selected.
Of course the decision will be yours to make but the responsibility to ensure you know the repercussions of it and guide you through it lies with your licensed immigration advisor. Another good reason to take advantage of our free initial consultation.
Booking a consultation and finding out more
If you would like to find out more about our services or book a free consultation with us simply call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200 (SA). If you prefer, you could instead send us an email.
If so you might be wondering where to start?
What type of application for a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand you would qualify for?
What the process is?
and many more questions……
Below take a look at making an application for a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand and answer some of the questions that you may have. If you prefer to speak to a human being about your situation:
- Call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200 (SA).
- Contact us via email.
Who can make an application for a skilled migrant Visa for New Zealand?
In order to be eligible for residence under the skilled migrant’s category, you should meet the following basic criteria:
- Be under 55 year of age.
- Meet the health requirements.
- Be of good character.
- Prove acceptable English language standards.
- Have an occupation that is in demand.
If you can meet the basic criteria then we proceed to the next step which is a points based assessment.
The Points Based Assessment
The most important thing to understand in the process is that it all starts with an assessment. This will show you the points score you can achieve. Most importantly it will lead you to make decisions on what application for a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand suits your circumstances. It is often the case that an application for a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand cannot be made straight away and another visa is required first.
In terms of the points system there will be two inevitable outcomes:
- You won’t qualify for a skills migrant visa (under 100 points)
- You will qualify to submit an EOI- expression of interest for a skilled migrant’s visa
Expression of Interest(EOI)
An EOI refers to an expression of interest and it is your second step in making an application for a skilled migrant Visa for New Zealand. It is submitted together with your points score to the authorities in New Zealand.
Should you score within their chosen parameters then you may be selected to receive an invitation to apply.
Invitation to apply
If you receive an invitation to apply it does not guarantee you a visa. It invites you to make a formal application which in essence confirms your assessment and expression of interest as being correct. Hence why the assessment is so important.
How do you assess if you should make an application for a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand?
The good news is that New Zealand is unique in that it needs to attract skilled migrants. In fact the GDP of New Zealand would suffer severely should it not have sufficient skilled migrants to join in the work force. The three year target which New Zealand needs to attract is currently on 150,000.
The statistics as it currently stands is that one out of four people living in New Zealand are actually immigrants. There is no reason that one of these immigrants couldn’t be you.
……So Moving forward
One of the best ways to see if you should apply for a skilled migrant visa is to take an assessment first. It is going to be within your best interests to first gain an indication of whether you will qualify, or not, prior to investing your time and money.
One of our licensed immigration advisors will be able to assist you in the assessment process. And provide you with a written, formal comprehensive report as to your options.
Always bear in mind: According to the law, anybody who provides advice with regard to immigration to New Zealand is required to be licensed by the Immigration Advisor’s Authority, unless they are exempt.
Booking an assessment or finding out more:
If you would like to find out more about our services or book an assessment with us simply call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200 (SA) or +44 (0) 2038 732150 (UK). You could alternatively instead contact us via email.