Don’t hold off on your emigration due to COVID-19!
Our social media team did a poll on Facebook last week to ask our followers if they’re putting their emigration on hold due to COVID-19. Every single person who responded said that they have pressed paused until further notice.
Can you blame them?
New Zealand’s borders are still closed to most people from overseas and no-one can say when this will change.
With that being said, we don’t agree that putting your emigration on hold is the best decision.
Here’s why we say this:
1. New Zealand IS ACCEPTING visa applications under some categories
Immigration New Zealand announced in September that it’s now again accepting visa applications under four categories:
- Parent Retirement
- Migrant Investor (Investor 1 and 2), including Expressions of Interest for Investor 2
- Refugee Family Support (Tiers 1 and 2)
The rationale behind accepting Investor and Entrepreneur visas is that these visas brings investment into New Zealand and add jobs to the economy. This is much-needed in a post-COVID-19 world.
2. There is an ‘other critical worker’ border exemption in place since 11 September 2020
The New Zealand government has relaxed the criteria for some overseas workers to allow migrants with critical skills through the country’s borders. Primarily, the criteria now defines skills as ‘not readily available in New Zealand’ as opposed to ‘not available in New Zealand.’
The Minister of Immigration has said that this wording change reflects that, in some fields, there is a limited pool of experts and significant training would have to be undertaken before the skills were obtainable in New Zealand.
Here’s how it works…
You cannot request approval for the border exemption – it has to come from your New Zealand employer.
Employers can apply to bring employees to New Zealand under two categories:
- Short-term critical workers: Staff needed for less than 6 months in total
- Long-term critical workers: Staff needed for more than 6 months
Each of these categories has its own criteria. If you’d like to know more about these requirements, you can click here.
3. You can complete critical parts of your skilled migrant visa application despite the border closures
Let’s first explain why you’d want to do that. It’s simple. If you complete the critical parts now, you’ll be ready to submit your visa application as soon as the restrictions are lifted. You’ll be streets ahead of migrants who chose to wait and see what happens first.
Our advisors always tell our clients that their focus should be on the long term not the short term!
Let’s now look at some examples of those critical parts that you can tick off your to-do list. It is, for instance, your personal documents such as birth certificates and police clearances.
Keep in mind also that if you’re applying as a skilled worker you may need occupational registration and a qualification assessment. These are known to take long and may take even longer now. It’s therefore much better to start your emigration process sooner rather than later.
4. INZ could change immigration regulations which could mean that you don’t qualify to apply for a visa at all
We do not say this to scare you. This has happened all too often in the past.
Take for example the big changes that were made to Essential Skills visas earlier this year, including that your median wage would determine the family members you can support and in what manner.
Let’s not forget about when INZ closed the Parent Resident visa in October 2019 until February of this year. At the same time, INZ made a number of changes to the visa. One of these changes was capping the number of visas at 1,000 annually.
These changes scuppered many people’s plans!
Remember that generally you’re safe from any changes if your visa application is already in the system when it happens. This is another good reason to start your emigration sooner rather than later.
Ready to get going with your visa application?
If you read all of that and agree with us that the most sensible choice is continuing with your visa application, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Our advisors can assess your eligibility and work out a personalized immigration plan. Our administrative team can then help you get all the parts together.
The best way to start is with initial immigration assessment. This assessment is free and you can book yours online. You are also welcome to email us at email@example.com or to call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200.
We want to see you realise your dream of living in New Zealand as much as you do, so we’re looking forward to working with you!