Sources say New Zealand can expect a spike in the number of visa applications as the date for their immigration changes approaches.
Applications that reach the New Zealand Immigration Department on and after August 14 this year will be expected to meet a whole new set of criteria. Criteria which will exclude migrants who would previously have met the minimum requirements for a skilled migrant visa.
Amongst the new rules is the controversial NZ$49,000 bottom limit earnings cap to qualify for a highly-skilled worker visa – although truly skilled migrants typically earn more than NZ$50,000.
Migrants who earn or would have earned NZ$30,000 or NZ$40,000, will now have to beat the deadline or face the fact that their visa application could very well be rejected.
Other serious concerns are the changes to how points were given according to a partner's qualifications. Partners of skilled migrants will be awarded points only if they held a recognised Bachelor's degree or higher, or a recognised post-graduate qualification.
The new rules also mean that applicants will after the deadline no longer be able to claim points for having close family support in New Zealand, or finding employment in identified future growth areas.
What are the new Skilled Migrant Visa Criteria?
Some of the changes to the skilled migrant visa application criteria are listed below. There are however more changes which may affect your case and it would be in your best interest to consult an accredited New Zealand Immigration Consultant before submitting your application.
• The same number of points will be awarded for both an offer of skilled employment and current skilled employment in New Zealand.
• A remuneration threshold of NZ$50,000 is being introduced as an additional means of defining skilled employment.
• More points will be available for work experience.
• Points will be awarded for skilled work experience in ANZSCO skill level 1, 2 and 3 occupations.
• Points will be awarded for skilled New Zealand work experience of 12 months or more.
Qualifications, age and partner’s qualifications
• Points available for recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualifications (Master’s degrees and Doctorates) will increase.
• Points for people aged 30 – 39 years will increase.
• Partner’s qualifications will only be awarded points if they are a recognised Bachelor’s level degree or higher or a recognised post-graduate (level 9 or higher) qualification.
Applicants will, after 14 August no longer receive points for:
• qualifications in an area of absolute skills shortage
• skilled employment, work experience and qualifications in Identified Future Growth Areas
• close family support in New Zealand