13 Oct Gaining Residency in New Zealand? Here’s INZ’s latest announcement
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse “Increasing the points required to gain residence from 140 to 160 will moderate the growth in applications in the Skilled Migrant Category and enable us to lower the overall number of migrants gaining residence,” Woodhouse said
“Raising the points will also prioritise access for higher-skilled SMC migrants, ensuring we strike the right balance between attracting skilled workers that allow companies to grow and managing demand in a period of strong growth,” Woodhouse added.
New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment chair June Ranson said compulsory English language testing would make it an uphill task for people from non-English speaking countries to gain residence.
“The new English language requirement will almost certainly count Indian and Chinese chefs out,” Ranson said.
“This change will also eliminate those who do not hold a qualification and do not have occupations on the skill shortage list.
Our Licensed Immigration Adviser, Lynn Niland, said she was surprised by how dramatic the changes were, but the review of SMC residence category was expected.
NZ is incredibly popular and INZ does make changes from time to time. I’m finding that our clients are not too phased by the IELTS requirement of 6.5. After all, this is already in the policy. It’s not like it’s a brand new requirement. The hike in points to 160 is more challenging for some. I’d suggest people look more at the regions and what job possibilities there are, given the 30 extra points are now actually meaningful (they were not critical before). Also, those people with a few years work experience behind them will get more points, as will people who have partners with a qualification and the ability to get a 6.5 IELTS, Lynn added.