Immigration News

Immigration New Zealand’s Special Visa Category for Victims of the Christchurch Terror Attacks

INZ has established a special visa category in response to the Christchurch terror attacks. The Christchurch Response residence visa category offers permanent residence to those victims and their family members who meet the policy requirements. INZ stated that “this new visa category recognises the impact of the tragedy on the lives of those most affected, and gives people currently on temporary and resident visas some certainty about their immigration status in New Zealand”.

In the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attacks, INZ has worked closely with a group of highly experienced Licensed Immigration Advisers (LIA) and Immigration Lawyers who have specialised expertise in difficult and complex casework. An Immigration Advice Pool, which consists of 10 LIAs and Lawyers, has been set up to help people applying for a Christchurch Response (2019) permanent resident visa.

 Advice from this Immigration Advice pool is paid for by the Ministry of Social Development and you can choose which immigration professional you get help from.

 Migration Associates is a Christchurch-based immigration advice consultancy and the Managing Director of Migration Associates, Borey Chum, is one of the LIAs who is part of the Immigration Advice Pool.

 “As a well established global immigration consultancy with an office in Christchurch, we really felt the impact of the terror attacks first-hand,” said Mr Chum. “We would like to provide any assistance we can to the victims of this tragedy and we look forward to working collaboratively with INZ to find solutions for those affected ”. “We feel very privileged to have been offered the opportunity by INZ to play a small part in helping victims and their families on their path to recovery,” he added.

 Anyone who would like immigration advice or assistance with applying for Christchurch Response (2019) permanent resident visa is encouraged to get in touch directly with Borey Chum from Migration Associates.

 For further information please click here.

 

Work Visa Changes to Minimum Income Thresholds

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has revised the minimum income thresholds which must be met by visa applicants who want to support a dependent child visitor visa, or a dependent child student visa.

In general, applicants who receive an offer of skilled employment and apply for a work visa are allowed to support additional temporary visa applications for their partners and their dependent children, subject to meeting the various requirements. In order to do so, INZ must determine that the main applicant has an offer of employment in a higher-skilled or mid-skilled occupation.  These levels are determined by the ANZSCO description of the occupation and the remuneration rate:

Remuneration ANZSCO 1-3 ANZSCO 4-5
$37.50+ per hour High High
$21.25 - $37.50 per hour Mid Low
Less than $21.25 per hour Low Low

However, visa applicants who wish to support a dependent child visa must also meet INZ’s revised minimum annual income threshold of at least NZD$43,322.76 per annum. If you receive an offer of employment in New Zealand and intend to include your children in your visa application, you must ensure that you meet the new minimum income threshold:

Hours per week Hourly rate of pay Annual Salary
40 $21.25 $44,200
30 $27.80 $45,368

Immigration New Zealand updates these salary thresholds annually to ensure that visa applicants have sufficient income to support themselves and their families while in New Zealand.

If you are considering applying for work in New Zealand or have received an offer of employment,  and you would like our assistance with visa applications for you and your family, contact us today.

Latest updates to the Essential Skills in Demand Lists – some exciting additions!

The New Zealand government recognises that there is a significant shortage of skilled labour in a variety of occupation industries in New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has three “Essential Skills in Demand” lists, which make it easier for employers to recruit and employ non-New Zealand citizens and residents for roles which are included on those lists.

INZ has just released updates to the Essential Skills in Demand Lists (ESID), which includes the replacement of the Intermediate Skills Shortage List with a new one called the Regional Skill Shortage List. Where an occupation is on one of the ESIDs, it is an acknowledgement that it is difficult to find suitable New Zealanders to fill those role in those occupations, and therefore the process of recruiting migrant workers has been simplified.

Here is a brief outline of each of the lists, with an explanation of what occupations have been added to or amended on them:

 

Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL):

The LTSSL is a list of skilled occupation that are in sustained shortage throughout New Zealand. Occupations included in the list include occupation in engineering, ICT, health and social services and electricians.

The outcome of the latest review has been to add ‘Aged Care Registered Nurse’ to the LTSSL, and amend and extend the “Construction Project Manager” listing.

 

Regional Skills Shortage List (RSSL):

The Regional Skills Shortage List will replace the Intermediate Skills Shortage List, and provides a list of various occupations where there is a skill shortage in a particular regions. The RSSL is divided into 15 regions identified as having an immediate shortage of skilled workers in particular occupations. Early Childhood Teacher, Primary School Teacher and Secondary School Teacher have been added to the RSSL for all regions – great news for people wishing to gain employment as teachers in New Zealand!

 

Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL):

The CISSL is divided into the same 15 regions as the RSSL, and contains construction-related occupations which are in immediate, short-term shortage across the country. The occupation of Building Associate has been added to the list, and Plumber has now been added to all the listed regions.

 

The proposed changes will be implemented on 27 May, and come at a time when INZ is facing increasing criticism over extensive delays in visa processing times, which is causing problems for many visa applicants and their employers.

If you believe any of this will affect you and your application, please get in touch with one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers in either the UK or NZ office:

UK Office: +44 (0) 148 355 0920

NZ Office: +64 03 355 1495

Or email info@migrationassociates.co.uk

Increase to minimum income level required to support dependent children in New Zealand

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has released its latest amendment circular containing updates to the current immigration policy.

 The latest update includes the following changes:

  • The minimum income required for Essential Skills work visa holders to support visitor visa applications for their dependent children has been increased to $43,322.76 per annum. Essential Skills work visa holders who earn less than that will not be able to support to support visitor visa applications for their dependent children.

  • Following the major changes to post-study work visas that were implemented last year, the Pathway Student visa pilot has been extended to 24 November 2019.

  • The List of Qualifications Exempt From Assessment (LQEA) has been updated. The list of qualifications recognised by INZ has been expanded to include a large number of newly-recognised qualifications from countries including Canada, Hungary, Sweden and Poland.

  •  Updating the New Zealand Residence Programme planning range to 50,000 to 60,000 from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2019. Immigration remains a hot political issue. It is clear that the Minister of Immigration is actively working to implement changes across the board, which appears to include the  targeted reduction of the total number of Skilled Migrant category residence visa approvals.

 If you need any more information on these latest updates then please get in touch with one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers in either the UK or NZ office:

UK Office: +44 (0) 148 355 0920

NZ Office: +64 03 355 1495

Or email info@migrationassociates.co.uk

Visa income thresholds are changing

The remuneration thresholds for people applying for an Essential Skills work visa will change, effective from 26 November 2018. The changes are as follows:

Remuneration ANZSCO 1-3 ANZSCO 4-5
$37.50+ per hour Higher-skilled Higher-skilled
$21.25 - $37.49 per hour Mid-skilled Lower-skilled
Less than $21.25 per hour Lower-skilled Lower-skilled

The duration and conditions of an Essential Skills work visa is determined by the skill band of the job offered. The skill band is determined by looking at both remuneration and the ANZSCO level of the job.

Remuneration thresholds are updated each November, based on the New Zealand median wage.

The changes do not affect the duration or conditions of visas that have already been granted. The new remuneration thresholds will only be used to determine the skill level of applications lodged on or after 26 November 2018.

If you have any questions on the above please get in touch with your adviser, or call the office on:

UK office: +44 (0) 148 355 0920

NZ office: +64 03 355 1495

Or email info@migrationassociates.co.uk

Jobs Online monthly report – October 2018

Jobs Online measures changes in online job advertisements from four internet job boards – SEEK, Trade Me Jobs, Education Gazette and Kiwi Health Jobs. Job vacancies are an important indicator of labour demand and changes in the economy. 

This month, the All Vacancies Index increased by 0.8 per cent in the month of October 2018.

  • ·Vacancies increased in nine of the ten industry groups. Amongst the largest contributors were Primary (up 2.4 per cent), and Healthcare and Medical (up 1.2 per cent) industries.
     

  • Vacancies increased in all eight occupation groups. The largest increases were for Clerical and Administration (up 1.3 per cent), and Community and Personal Services (up 1.1 per cent).
     

  • Vacancies increased in all five skill levels. The largest increases were for Skilled, and Unskilled (both up 1.1 per cent) occupations.
     

  • Vacancies increased in all ten regions over the month, with the biggest increases in Northland (up 2.0 per cent), and Bay of Plenty (up 1.8 per cent).
     

  • Over the past year, online vacancies increased by 9.4 per cent.

To read the full report, click here.

New Zealand Job Vacancy Index increases by 0.6% - July 2018

The All Vacancies Index increased by 0.6 per cent in the month of July 2018. Here are the highlights of the monthly report:

  • Vacancies increased in eight of the ten industry groups. The largest contributors were healthcare and medical (up 1.5 per cent), the education and training (up 1.3 per cent), and IT (up 1.1 per cent) industries.

  • Vacancies increased in six out of eight occupation groups. The largest increases were for machinery operators and drivers (up 1.5 per cent), and labourers (up 0.9 per cent).

  • Vacancies increased in all five skill levels. The largest increases were for skilled and highly skilled occupations up 0.7 and 0.6 per cent respectively.

  • Vacancies increased in nine out of ten regions over the month, with the biggest increases in Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough/West Coast (up 2.0 per cent) and Waikato (up 1.8 per cent).

  • Over the past year, online vacancies increased by 7.1 per cent.

For More information click here.

Will New Zealand Parent Category reopen after July 2018?

News flash: The New Zealand Parent Category – Will this category reopen after July 2018?

Many parents of New Zealand residents or citizens will be waiting in great anticipation on whether  The New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) will permit the re-opening the Parent Visa Category in 2018. 

Many of you may already know that the New Zealand government closed the Parent Visa Category in October 2016. This visa category enabled parents to join their children in New Zealand and was open to the parents of an adult child (i.e. a child over the age of 17) who was a New Zealand citizen or permanent residents.

NZRP is set every two years, and the closure of the category came about where the cap of 2000 visas granted in each year was almost reached.

The re-opening of this visa category could be excellent news for many New Zealand citizens and resident visa holders who have been waiting for this moment, allowing parents and grandparents to join their family in New Zealand.

Full details of the category cap, and requirements within each qualification tier has yet to be fully announced, however recent changes have been made to the tier one parent category’s “guaranteed lifetime minimum income” has a marginal increase of just $268 ($28,166 for one applicant) and $448 ($41,494 for two applicants), have been made. We are unsure if there will be changes to the sponsor’s income and settlement fund amounts.

We will update more when announcements are made on 1st July.

If the Parent Visa Category re-opens under the current policy, we expect there will be a mad rush to have expressions of interests lodged and therefore it will be important for applicants to obtain professional immigration to ensure visa eligibility and to act swiftly, given the cap (yet to be determined) on numbers for the next 2 years.

If you would like to find our more or apply for this visa, please call us ASAP on +44 (0) 148 355 0920 or email us on info@migrationassociates.co.uk

New Zealand Residence Programme - Skilled Migrant Category fortnightly selection

The SMC EOI selection took place at approx 1.00pm NZ time on Wednesday 19th of July 2017. The following EOIs were selected:

Selection criteria No. of EOIs
All EOIs with a points total of 160 or more. 1504 (2813 registrants)

The next selection will take place in a fortnight.

New Zealand Residence Programme - Investor (Investor 2 category)

**Thursday, 27th of July 2017**
A selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Migrant Investment Category, Investor (Investor 2 category), happened on the 27th of July 2017.

2 EOIs were choosen from the EOI pool that were able to claim between 50 and 105 points.

The next draw will happen in 2 weeks time. Up to 25 applications with the highest points value will be selected from the draw in 2 weeks and each fortnightly draw going forward untill further notice.

Government appear to make U-turn on Immigration Cuts

Following a backlash from business groups and the regions, the New Zealand Government is likely to tweak some of its planned immigration cuts that were announced back in April this year.

Prime Minister Bill English said this week that the proposals would still "largely" go ahead, but "with some adjustments".

Regional mayors, farming and hospitality groups have voiced their concern to the Government, stating that the proposed rule changes "were a bit tight", he told TVNZ.

Prime Minister Bill English appearing on TVNZ 1's BreakfastBreakfast.

Prime Minister Bill English appearing on TVNZ 1's BreakfastBreakfast.

The changes were announced in April and include a minimum income of $49,000 for a skilled migrant visa, a 3 year limit for lower skilled workers followed by a stand-down period, as well as stricter rules for the partners and children of workers.

However, critics have disagreed, arguing that it is already hard enough to source workers in industries such as hospitality and farming. 

Prime Minister Bill English said on TVNZ 1's Breakfast he wants the "right balance of skills".

He said there was a strong demand for workers, but they "also want to make sure New Zealanders get the jobs they should be able to get".  

Mr English said the incoming changes would not be scrapped, but they would listen to the feedback given. The new plan will be revealed in the next few weeks. 

You can learn more about the different types of New Zealand visas available on our NZ Visas page. 

Breaking News – Essential Skills Work Visa Changes Announced

The New Zealand government has made decisions on proposals announced in April to the change of policy settings under the Essential Skills Policy. We will be shortly publishing a summary of the changes to take place on August 28th.

For more information on the changes, please visit the following:

More information to follow. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Are you an international graduate wanting to stay in NZ?

International students studying in New Zealand might be considering what to do next and wondering what visa options are available to them and their families in New Zealand.

“If you’re looking for immigration advice about the options you have to stay in New Zealand after your studies, check your adviser is a Licensed Immigration Adviser or exempt person, such as a New Zealand lawyer,” says Registrar of the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) Catherine Albiston. The IAA is a New Zealand government body set up to protect individuals and families looking for immigration advice. We are listed on the IAA’s register of licensed immigration advisers.

"If students need personalised immigration help, it is important to only seek it from people who can legally give New Zealand immigration advice,” adds Ms Albiston.

“Holding an immigration adviser licence means the individual has met competency standards and must be professional. Visa applicants need to be honest with Immigration New Zealand and declare any help received when completing a visa application form. If applicants are not honest, the visa application may be declined and Immigration New Zealand may refuse future visa applications.

“Our message to students seeking immigration advice is to check if the person is a Licensed Immigration Adviser or exempt.”

All Immigration Advisers at Migration Associates are licensed by the IAA and visa information is available on our website. If you're a student in need of personalised immigration help, get in touch with our friendly team today and we'll be happy to assist you.

You can also complete our initial visa evaluation form, which will allow us to evaluate your eligibility to qualify for a New Zealand Visa.

IAA International Students in NZ

New Zealand Residence Programme - Investor (Investor 2 category)

Thursday, 13th of July 2017 A selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Migrant Investment Category, Investor (Investor 2 category), happened on the 13th of July 2017.

5 EOIs were choosen from the EOI pool that were able to claim between 50 and 105 points.

The next draw will happen in 2 weeks time. Up to 25 applications with the highest points value will be selected from the draw in 2 weeks and each fortnightly draw going forward untill further notice.

New Zealand Residence Programme - Investor (Investor 2 category)

Thursday, 27th of April 2017 A selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Migrant Investment Category, Investor (Investor 2 category), happened on the 27th of April 2017.

32 EOIs were choosen from the EOI pool that were able to claim between 70 and 119 points.

The table below shows an indication of the remaining EOIs in the pool after this weeks selection.

< 60 pts 60-64 65-69
4 5 3

Total number of remaining EOI's in the pool: 12

The next draw will happen in 2 weeks time. The final draw under the current instruction will likely occur on the 19th of May 2017.

Note: EOIs accepted in September 2016 are now being withdrawn from the EOI Pool as they have failed to be selected from the EOI Pool after 6 months (as per Immigration Instructions).

New Zealand Residence Programme - Skilled Migrant Category fortnightly selection

Wednesday, 26th of April 2017 The SMC (Skilled Migrant Category) EOI (Expression of Interest) selection took place at around 1.00pm NZ time on Wednesday the 26th of April 2017.

Please see the table below for the EOI selection:

Selection criteria No. of EOIs
All EOIs with a points total of 160 or more. 462 (871 registrants)
Total Selection 462 (871 registrants)

The next selection from the pool will happen in 2 weeks time.

Shortage of workers prompts massive employment drive in NZ

Construction, manufacturing and other industries in New Zealand are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit suitable workers, which has prompted a huge hiring drive across the country. 

According to Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ), the construction industry will need another 30,000 workers in two years' time. Chief executive Peter Silcock said his group's attention was turning heavily towards training and recruiting a more diverse workforce.

"We need more skilled workers and the reality is that a lot of the training will need to be done on the job, which means that people can earn as they learn." 

A labour crunch in construction were also highlighted in Statistics NZ figures last month, which showed that almost 80 per cent of construction firms reported vacancies in 2016.

If you want to apply your skill set to a working life in New Zealand, complete our free initial visa evaluation form to discover your eligibility.  

Read more about the Civil Contractors New Zealand's findings here

New Zealand Residence Programme - Skilled Migrant Category fortnightly selection

Wednesday, 15th of March 2017 The SMC (Skilled Migrant Category) EOI (Expression of Interest) selection took place at around 1.00pm NZ time on Wednesday the 15th of March 2017.

Please see the table below for the EOI selection:

Selection criteria No. of EOIs
All EOIs with a points total of 160 or more. 464 (904 registrants)
Total Selection 464 (904 registrants)

The next selection from the pool will happen in 2 weeks time.

New Zealand Residence Programme - Skilled Migrant Category fortnightly selection

Wednesday, 1st of March 2017 The Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest selection took place at around 1.00pm NZ time on Wednesday the 1st of March 2017.

Please see the table below for the EOI selection:

Selection criteria No. of EOIs
All EOIs with a points total of 160 or more. 432 (820 registrants)
Total Selection 432 (820 registrants)

The next selection from the pool will happen in 2 weeks time.

New Zealand Residence Programme - Investor (Investor 2 category)

Thursday, 19th of January 2017 A selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Migrant Investment Category, Investor (Investor 2 category), happened on the 19th of January 2017.

21 EOIs were choosen from the EOI pool that were able to claim between 70 and 85 points.

The table below shows an indication of the remaining EOIs in the pool after this weeks selection.

< 60 pts 61-64 65-69
14 6 12

Total number of remaining EOI's in the pool: 32

The next draw will happen in 2 weeks time.

Note: EOIs accepted in May 2016 are now being withdrawn from the EOI Pool as they have failed to be selected from the EOI Pool after 6 months (as per Immigration Instructions).