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Move To New Zeland With New Skilled Migrant Visas

Skilled Migrant Category

If you have skills, qualifications or experience that New Zealand needs you may be able to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Upcoming visa changes

Changes were recently announced that will affect the Skilled Migrant Category from mid-August 2017.

The Skilled Migrant Category is a points system based on factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment. You must also be aged 55 or under, and meet English language, health, and character requirements.

How it works

1. Self assessment

  • Check you meet the requirements and calculate your points

Visa conditions
If you are granted a visa, there are conditions that you must meet. These visa conditions are described below.

Entry permission
You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing an arrival card, which you’ll be given on the way to New Zealand.

You can be refused entry permission if:

• You don’t meet our character requirements
• Your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
• You refuse to let us take your photo or to provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if asked for them.

Work (if you have an offer of skilled employment in Auckland)
If you were awarded points for an offer of skilled employment in Auckland, you must:

• Take up that job within 3 months of coming to New Zealand
• Stay in that job for at least 3 months.
• Continue to be paid at or above the level of remuneration for whch skilled employment points were awarded to you, for at least 3 months.
• You must provide evidence within 5 years of your first day in New Zealand as a resident that you stayed in your skilled employment for at least 3 months.

So we can get in touch with you to check your evidence, you’ll need to let us know if your address changes during this time.

Work (if you have an offer of skilled employment outside of Auckland)

If you were awarded points for an offer of skilled employment outside of Auckland, you must:

• Take up that job within 3 months of coming to New Zealand
• Stay in that job for at least 12 months
• Continue to be paid at or above the level of remuneration for which skilled employment points were awarded to you, for at least 12 months.
• You must provide evidence within 5 years of your first day in New Zealand as a resident that you stayed in your skilled employment for at least 12 months.

So we can get in touch with you to check your evidence, you’ll need to let us know if your address changes during this time.

Work (if you have current skilled employment in Auckland)
If you were awarded points for your current skilled employment in Auckland, and you’ve been working in that job for less than 3 months, you must:

• Stay in the job for at least 3 months
• Continue to be paid at or above the level of remuneration for which skilled employment points were awarded to you, for at least 3 months.
• You must provide evidence within 5 years of your first day in New Zealand as a resident that you stayed in your skilled employment for at least 3 months.

So we can get in touch with you to check your evidence, you’ll need to let us know if your address changes during this time.

Work (if you have current skilled employment outside of Auckland)

If you were awarded points for your current skilled employment outside of Auckland, and you’ve been working in that job for less than 3 months, you must:

• Stay in the job for at least 12 months
• Continue to be paid at or above the level of remuneration for which skilled employment points were awarded to you, for at least 12 months.
• You must provide evidence within 5 years of your first day in New Zealand as a resident that you stayed in your skilled employment for at least 12 months.

So we can get in touch with you to check your evidence, you’ll need to let us know if your address changes during this time.

Keep your visa in a valid passport

If you want to travel, your visa must be in a valid passport.

If your passport expires, you must apply to transfer your visa to a new passport before you can travel.

To transfer your visa, you must:

Send us your old and new passports
Complete an ‘Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa’
Pay a transfer fee.
Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa (INZ 1023)
Office and fee finder
Travel
You can travel in and out of New Zealand as often as you like until your travel conditions expire.

To travel after that, you’ll need to apply for and be granted either:

• Permanent Resident Visa
• Variation of your travel conditions, which would allow you to return to New Zealand at a later date.
Your travel conditions will expire 2 years from the date you first arrive in New Zealand as a resident.

If you’re outside of New Zealand when your travel conditions expire, your visa will expire as well.

2. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

  • Note the fees and offices information
  • Submit an EOI online

3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

  • If you have 160 points or more you’ll be selected from the EOI pool and be sent an ITA

4. Submit a resident application

  • Note the fees and offices information
  • Submit your resident application within six months on the form we provide you with

5. Receive your visa

  • If successful, you’ll be issued either a resident visa or job search visa

Common mistakes to avoid

Skilled Migrant Category applicants often make these mistakes that result in fewer points being recognised:

Qualifications not recognised

If you’re claiming points for your qualifications they need to either be on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment or have been assessed by NZQA.

Work experience not comparable

If you’re claiming points for work experience it must be in the same field as your qualification and job/job offer. If you don’t have a job or job offer then this experience also needs to be in a comparable labour market, in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List or for a multinational company.

Bonus point requirements not met

To claim qualification and work experience bonus points you need to meet the strict requirements outlined on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

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