Residence Programme Policy Changes in New Zealand
On Tuesday, 11 October 2016, important changes were made regarding resident visas in New Zealand. This includes the Skilled Migrant Category, including the English language requirements, as well as the Parent category.
For the next two years, the New Zealand Resident Programme is being lowered to between 85,000 and 95,000 applicants. The automatic selection mark for people applying under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) has also been raised from 140 to 160 points, regardless of if the applicant has been offered a job. As New Zealand has become an extremely popular destination in recent years, they need to make sure that the demand for places under the Skilled Migrant Category are being managed effectively. Find out more about New Zealand Migration
From November 2016, New Zealand will be able to accept a wider range of English language tests, but there have been new changes to the way SMC applicants are to show evidence that they have met the requirements-which ultimately means more people will have to undergo the formal tests. The new tests that New Zealand will be able to accept are the TOEFL iBT, Occupational English Test, Cambridge English Test: First and FCE for Schools, and the Pearson Test of English: Academic.
Another important change that was made is in regards to the number of places for the capped family categories has now been reduced to 2,000 per year. Furthermore, the Parent Category is officially closed for new applications while this is being reviewed. No Expressions of Interest (EOIs) will be selected from the Parent Category Pool as of 12 October 2016. Why has the Parent Category been closed? This is because there is already a sufficient amount of people who have applied/been invited to apply, and the cap has been met. The NZ government says that by the end of 2017/2018 financial year that the applications in the system should be cleared.
Although there have been many changes to the New Zealand Residence Programme, these changes are only temporarily and will be reviewed in the years to come.
Our experienced team of New Zealand Migration Agents are here to assist you throughout this process! Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding migrating to New Zealand under a working visa category.
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