Procedure to Apply for New Zealand Immigration

To apply for Immigration to New Zealand a person needs to be below or 55 years of age, have good health, speak English and have a good character. There is three way to apply for an immigration to New Zealand: Skilled migrant, Business migrants, and Family migrants. Among these three skilled migrants is the category which has the highest quota for immigrations.

SKILLED MIGRANT CATEGORY: A skilled migrant category offers you the opportunity to move to New Zealand to work and live permanently. The government still wants 27,000 skilled migrants and their spouses and children to migrate each year under this category.

Occupational registration: People intending to work in some occupations in New Zealand are required by law to be registered with the appropriate professional body of their occupation. Most often registration is required in medical and health occupations but registration is also required for some other business and trade occupations. A person will only qualify for points for a job offered in these occupations under the skilled migrant category if he can prove that;

  • He has been granted full or provisional registration by the relevant New Zealand occupation registration authority and can therefore legally work in that occupation in New Zealand, or
  • He is a dental or medical professional and holds written confirmation from the new Zealand Dental and Medical Council that he is eligible for full or provision registration, after attending a personal interview with a council representative one month before his arrival in New Zealand.
  • To be granted a work visa or a residence class visa, to work in one of these occupations a person need to prove the occupational registration requirements.

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: People who want to apply for immigration to New Zealand have to submit an expression of interest either online or on the paper based Expression of Interest. The government of New Zealand will analyze it and may consider offering him an invitation to apply for residence in New Zealand. The form is very detailed and asks an applicant about himself, his family, his skills and work experience. Evidence and documents are not required at this point, but the expression of interest has a non-refundable submission fee which is NZ$440 for online version and $560 if it is being filed manually. The EOI is valid for 6 months and until then if it is not selected then it will lapse and will be withdrawn from the pool. If a person is unsure about the selection of his expression then he must take a quick check which is easily available online and is free. During processing of the expression of interest points will be counted for that applicant and the application will be classified in seven categories. The minimum requirement for the selection is 100 points. The summary of the classes is as follows:

Class 1 – Those claiming 140 points which includes an offer of skilled employment.

Class 2 – Those claiming 140 points which do not include an offer of skilled employment.

Class 3 – Those claiming 100 -135 points which include an offer of skilled employment.

Class 4 – Those claiming at least 100 points which include a claim for six years of work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage.

Class 5 – Those claiming at least 100 points which include a claim for two or more years (but less than six) of work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage.

Class 6 – Those claiming at least 100 points which include a claim to a recognized qualification in an area of absolute skills shortage.

Class 7 – Everyone else claiming at least 100 points.

Candidates of class 1 and 2 are automatically selected from the pool. The candidates from classes 4-7 will be considered and will be given additional points if they have work experience in the areas of absolute skill shortage or have skills required in those areas. Every fortnight or so the Government of New Zealand selects expressions from the pool for further processing and there is no right to appeal if any expression of interest in unsuccessful even if the mistake was made by Immigration New Zealand. After the selection the immigration New Zealand will then seek to establish whether the points claimed are credible and then they pass the case to the team of bureaucrats to verify some aspects of the application to see if the applicant has a reasonably solid claim to the points and there are no false claims. If they conclude that the case is solid and credibility is present then they may invite the applicant to apply for residence.

INVITATION TO APPLY FOR RESIDENCE: At this stage, the applicants will be asked to provide hard evidence to the points that they have claimed in the Expression of interest. The invitation to apply for residence means very little in terms of outcome. Processing of the actual hard evidence presented once the applicant has been invited to apply for residence is the important part of the process.

Class 1 applicants who have offers of employment will be granted residence permit once their points claim has been tested against actual immigration policy. A residence visa will be issued and the applicant will need to present evidence that they have worked in a skilled job for three months following the granting of their visa. If they do not present the evidence their visa might get revoked.

Class 2 applicants will also be invited to apply for residence after which they will be interviewed by the immigration officer to determine the applicant’s ability to settle into New Zealand, and then:

  • They will be approved and permanent residence will be granted to them.
  • They will be granted six months work visa allowing the applicant to travel to NZ, find skilled employment after working for three months; they will be granted their residential visa.
  • Their application will be declined if they fail the interview.

Class 3 will be treated same as class 1 and they will be given residential permit without interview once their points claim have been verified.

Classes 4-7 will be treated same as class 2 that is, after an interview with the immigration officer the fate of their residential permit will be decided.

BUSINESS/ INVESTOR MIGRANT: The government has set an annual quota of 30 migrants per year for this category and the minimum entry requirements for this category are 20 points. There are two sub-categories for this class:

INVESTOR PLUS: This is the top priority category for high value investors. Under this category the investor is required to invest minimum of NZ$10 Million for a period of three years. The investment must be in the form of government or local body bonds or equity in New Zealand firms which includes managed funds. The investor must stay in New Zealand for a minimum period of 20% for each of the last two years of the three year investment period. There is no upper age limit, no English language proficiency and no prior business experience required for this category. The only requirement is of health and character as well as the lawful earning of the investment money. Upon approval of the application of residence, the funds must be transferred to a New Zealand band and must be placed within an acceptable investment within 12 months.

INVESTOR (INVESTOR 2): This is for those people who invest a minimum of NZ$1.5 Million for a period of four years. This is a point system selection and the age limit for the applicant is up to 65 years. The applicant must have a minimum of 3 years of prior business experience in addition to good health and character. The investment must be lawfully earned and must remain in a New Zealand bank in unencumbered form for four years. The applicant is also required to have settlement funds of additional $1 Million, but it doesn’t need to be transferred to an NZ bank. The investor is also required to stay in New Zealand for minimum 40% of each year.

PROCESS: An expression of interest is to be submitted for this category as well and it will be different from that of the skilled migrant category. If the expression of interest is found credible then the applicant is invited to apply for residence and the process is of two kinds one is Long Term Business Visa (LTBV) which is a temporary residence and another is Entrepreneur Category which is a permanent residence.

Long Term Business Visa (LTBV): Long Term Business visa is a temporary and possibly the most complex process of application for permanent residence. Among English language ability, health, character and prior business experience, it requires a detailed business plan that is assessed for degree of viability, credibility and it must have the potential of benefit for New Zealand. If the Immigration department believes in the credibility of the business plan and the applicant have the business and personal finance lined up, the applicant will be granted a 9 month LTBV this means that the applicant have 9 months to move to new Zealand and put the business plan into action. After providing the evidence of the former the applicant will be further issued with the permit of 27 months. An applicant can apply for permanent residence i.e. entrepreneur category if he runs the business for 24 out of the grand total of 36 months.

Entrepreneur residence category: This is the permanent residence stage of the process for those that hold LTBV. Under this category the applicants are required to provide the immigration department with the hard evidence that the business they have set up is running successfully for a period of two years and the applicant was self-employed in that business for that duration and is profitable or has the potential to be profitable for New Zealand in the next 12 months.

FAMILY MIGRANT: Under this category, residence can be granted by three methods:

If the applicant is in a stable relationship with the New Zealand resident or citizen for a minimum for 12 months. This is easier said than done category, and the immigration officers can check on the couple anytime without informing to assure the credibility of the couple. The relationship can be homosexual, heterosexual married or de facto that is a stable unmarried relationship. Work permits can be provided to the applicants before the 12 months minimum requirement period.

Applicant must have;

  • Tier 1: Children living in new Zealand with an annual income of $65,000 per person or $90,000 when combined with the sponsor’s partner’s income, or, the applicant must have a lifetime guaranteed income of $27,203 per annum for a single person or $39,890 per annum for a couple, or, the applicant must have a minimum of $500,000 as a settlement fund which they must bring to new Zealand. They must not have any dependent children and low-level English knowledge is mandatory
  • Tier 2: the applicant must have a sponsoring adult child who has an income of at least $33,675 per annum. If the applicants have other children, they must be living a lawful life in a country other than that in which the parents reside. The applicants must not have any dependent children and must meet a minimum standard of English.
  • Parents file an expression of interest for securing a residence visa, only 4000 places are available and the pool will be swept every three months. It is not a points system rather the expression of interests are selected based on the order in which they are filed.

Dependent children of New Zealand residents or citizens also qualify if the applicant is less than 25 years of age and can show substantial dependence on one NZ based parent.

Other than these categories, the government has reserved a certain quota of migrants as International Humanitarians for refugees, victims of domestic violence and people who believe that their situation is special to approach the Minister of immigration directly.

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