See below for changes to the Skilled Migrant Category - announced 21 December 2005
The vast rules, regulations and criteria for immigration into New Zealand are complex, however in summary, follows are brief details about the various categories currently available to those wishing to travel to New Zealand.
Mentioned throughout is the terminology of ""visas"" and ""permits"", defined as follows;
Visa - a visa is an endorsement in a passport (or certificate of identity) that indicates that the visa officer, at the time of issuing the visa, knows of no reason why the holder of the passport or certificate of identity should not be granted the relevant permit. A visa merely entitles a person to travel to New Zealand and is not, nor does it have the effect of a permit, nor does it entitle the holder to a permit as of right. A temporary visa authorises the granting of a temporary permit until a specified date or for a specified time (time specified in months or weeks) provided an application has been made and any conditions stipulated in the visa have been met.
Permit - a permit is an endorsement by an immigration officer in a passport or certificate of identity which confirms that the holder is a person who requires a permit to be in New Zealand, and may lawfully remain in New Zealand while the permit is current.
It is unlawful to stay in New Zealand for longer than the time specified in your permit.
Immigration policy is divided into two specific areas, Temporary and Permanent entry.
ALL documentation presented is subject to stringent verification.
Visitor - New Zealand is the attraction of many thousands of visitors every year, some come to New Zealand for only a short time while others may stay in New Zealand for a longer period, and others may eventually make New Zealand their home. Visitors may stay in New Zealand for a total of 9 months, in an 18 month period. Some visitors may qualify for an additional 3 months if they are financially supporting themselves, have not previously worked, studied or been previously sponsored in New Zealand. 12 months in a 24 month period is the maximum stay as a visitor. Time spent in New Zealand = time spent out of New Zealand before being eligible to return as a visitor.
Study - New Zealand welcomes many thousands of students every year, some come to New Zealand for only a short time while others may stay in New Zealand for a longer period, and others may eventually make New Zealand their home. Both short and long term courses are available at various approved educational institutes throughout New Zealand. Students are permitted to remain in New Zealand for a period commensurate with the length of course or amount of tuition fees paid in an approved course of study and educational institute. Special conditions apply for those students who wish to work during their course of study.
Work - New Zealand is the destination for many thousands of workers every year, some come to New Zealand for only a short time while others may stay in New Zealand for a longer period, and others may eventually make New Zealand their home. In areas where there is a skills shortage in New Zealand people from abroad may be permitted to work for up to 3 years. Other special categories of work apply, include the various Working / Holiday Schemes with certain countries, Work to Residence, Talent Visa, Priority Occupations and Occupational Shortages categories.
Limited Purpose - is to facilitate the entry of visitors and students (employment not included) who choose to enter New Zealand for an ""express purpose"". (e.g. short term study course, wedding, funeral, conference, seminar, graduation or other significant ceremony, sports tournament, religious event, medical treatment, family emergency, milestone event) These people may not otherwise be accepted for temporary entry to New Zealand because of a perceived risk they may remain in New Zealand (overstay) at the end of their permitted stay or they choose the Limited Purpose Visa as their preferred method of entry. This type of Visa / Permit has many restrictions such as: cannot be extended, cannot change the status, cannot apply for permanent residence, cannot appeal against removal or deportation, must leave on expiry of the permit. An express purpose.
Skilled Migrant Category - (General Skills Category - closed as at midday on 12 November 2003). The SMC category was effective on the 17 December 2003 . Providing you meet the criteria, you will be able to register an ""Expression of Interest"" in applying for residence under the new SMC. To be considered under the new SMC you need to be of good health, good character, have a reasonable standard of English (IELTS 6.5 or higher) and be no older than 55 years of age. People who meet these prerequisites and the minimum points score (100) can submit an 'Expression of Interest'. Such applications will go into a pool from which a selection periodically by NZIS of the highest ranked Expressions of Interest is made. Based on the number of places available in the Skilled/Business stream of the New Zealand Immigration Programme and the quality of the Expressions of Interest, those who score highest may be selected. If your Expression of Interest is selected it will undergo an initial verification, and if your details check out as credible you may then be "invited" to apply for permanent residence under the SMC.
RESULTS OF POOL DRAW SELECTION POINTS -
1st pool draw on 18 Feb 04 - selection point was 195 points, thereafter selction points have been 185,185,180 ,180,170,165, 160, 155, 150, 140, 130, 115, 110, 100 and the most recent selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Skilled Migrant Category took place on 11 October 2006
The following EOIs were selected:
||No. of EOIs|
|All EOIs above 140 points.
|All EOIs with a job or a job offer claiming points between 100 and 135 points.
|All EOIs claiming 15 points for work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage and claiming total points between 100 and 135 points.
|All EOIs claiming 10 points for work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage and claiming total points between 100 and 135 points.
All EOIs claiming 10 points for a qualification in an area of absolute skill shortage and with a points total between 105 and 135 points.
All EOI's between 115 points and 135 points where there is no points claim for a job or job offer, work experience in an absolute Skill shortage or qualification in an area of absoulute Skill shortage.
The next selection is expected to take place in a fortnight, subject to NZIS discretion.
NEW POLICY - Changes to Skilled Migrant Category policy - effective 21 December 2005
The Minister of Immigration announced on the 21 December 2005 changes to the Skilled Migrant Category selection process that will give priority to highly skilled migrants and those with jobs or job offers in New Zealand. Applicants will continue to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for residence and gain points for their skills, qualifications, experience and other indicators of their ability to settle successfully in New Zealand.
Previously, the EOIs were then ranked and applicants meeting the set selection point were invited to apply for residence. Since September 2004, the set selection point has remained at 100.
Under the new selection process, highly talented migrants who score 140 points and above on their EOI for residence will automatically be selected from the pool and invited to apply for residence. Applicants who score between 100 and 140 points and have a New Zealand job or job offer will be ranked and selected in sufficient numbers to meet the New Zealand Immigration Programme numbers for skilled and business migrants.
If enough places are available, other EOIs may be selected on the basis of specific criteria which the Minister of Immigration will set every six months.
The period that EOIs remain in the Pool will increase from 3 months to 6 months.
The period that applicants are granted a work to residence permit has been reduced from two years to six months. This only applies to actual applications for residence (not EOI's) under the SMC received on or after 21 December 2005. The two-year work to residence deferral period still applies to applications received before 21 December 2005.
Family Category - this category is available to those applicants that are in a genuine and stable relationship living together with a New Zealand Citizen or Resident OR marriage with a New Zealand Citizen or Resident OR for those applicants who already have immediate family members (parents, adult siblings) residing lawfully and permanently in New Zealand. This category is subject to other strict criteria including Health & Character requirements.
Investor Category (BIC)
Applicants will now need to register an ""Expression of Interest"" (akin to the SMC system) in applying for residence under the new BIC. To be considered under the new BIC applicants need to have a mimimum of NZ$ 2million and at least a minimum of 5 years Buisness Experience. The required funds will be required to be transferred to New Zealand to the applicants own bank account for verification purposes and then transferred to the NZ Government for use in NZ infrastructure projects, and must remain in NZ with the NZ Govt for a period of 5 years. Applicants may withdraw half of the invested sum after a minimum of 2 years for use in thier own business, subject to NZIS approval. Interest on the invested funds will be paid by the NZ Govt at the rate of inflation. Applicants also need to be of good health, good character, have a reasonable standard of English (IELTS 5.0 or higher) and be no older than 54 years of age. People who meet these prerequisites may register an 'Expression of Interest". Successful applicants may then be invited by NZIS to formally apply for Permanent Residence in New Zealand under the BIC. (The new BIC is no longer a points based system and is also no longer controlled by a weekly passmark).
Entrepreneur - this category is designed to allow business people who have already established a successful business inNew Zealand (provided the business has been successfully operating in New Zealand for a minimum of 2 years). English language level 5 IELTS is required for the principal applicant, health & character requirements also apply. Applicants need to demonstrate they have established a successful business in New Zealand that is benefiting New Zealand by creating jobs, providing a new type of good or service or is revitalising an existing business. Applicants may be younger people with skills and investment capital available. This is to attract migrants with enterprise and innovation by being targeted at people who take an active role in business.
Employee of Business - this category is designed to promote New Zealand as a destination for relocating existing businesses by allowing key staff to relocate to New Zealand with the business. English language level 5 IELTS is required by the principal applicant, health & character requirements apply. The relocating business must also have the full support of the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise department.
Long Term Business Visa - this is primarily a work visa (self-employment) for those wishing to set up a small, medium or large business in New Zealand and applicants may go on to apply for Residence under the Entrepreneurial Category at a later date. This visa can only be renewed once for a further period of up to three years. The initial term is also for up 9 months to three years. Applicants must provide a comprehensive business plan, financial forecasts, evidence of investment capital and maintenance funds available, and previous business experience. Applicants must have had a minimum of 2 years previous experience in running a business in a related field. Health & character requirements apply, amongst other strict criteria including English language level 5 IELTS.