Virginia, US
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| Nicole Brown

Recent Changes to Skilled Migrant Category in New Zealand

On 19 April 2017, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse announced the New Zealand government would be implementing a number of immigration changes to better manage the immediate and future needs of the economy.  The new Skilled Migrant Category policy removes the ability for an individual to claim points for having close family in New Zealand or possessing employment, qualifications or experience in future growth areas.  It does, however, provide increased points to individuals being offered high salaries, who have Masters or Ph.D. qualifications and/or who are able to evidence relevant work experience.
The intention of these changes is to attract a more experienced and qualified group of individuals who will be able to obtain residence in New Zealand and impart their knowledge and experience to the local workforce, consequently assisting the economy to continue to grow and compete on an international scale.  This is especially relevant today as so many other countries including Australia are tightening their immigration scope.    
This week, it was announced that the Expression of Interest (EOI) pool will not re-open on 14 August 2017 as previously advised but will re-open at an undetermined date towards the end of August 2017.
The last selection from the existing pool will be made on 19 July 2017 and as such it is recommended that all individuals looking to submit an EOI and who currently meet the points criteria of 160 submit their application before the cut off so they can be included in the final selection. As the points criteria can increase at any time, it is recommended individuals submit their applications as early as possible.  The last increase was on 12 October 2016, when the points increased from 140 to 160. 
For more information, contact our New Zealand office.