A number of changes to New Zealand's immigration policy will go into effect on 30 July 2007 including changes to Residence policy and Temporary Entry policy. Visa and permit application fees will also change.Changes to Residence immigration programs
There are several changes to the points awarded under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC):
- Bonus points awarded for skilled employment, recognized qualifications, and work experience in an identified future growth area will increase (see table below).
- Bonus points awarded for skilled employment, recognized qualifications, and work experience in an identified cluster will be removed.
- Bonus points awarded for a principal applicant's partner's offer of skilled employment in New Zealand will increase to 20 points.
- The number of years required to be awarded points for work experience in New Zealand will be reduced (see table below).
- Separate bonus points of 5 each will be awarded for a recognized New Zealand qualification and for two years of full-time study in New Zealand.
- 10 Bonus points will be available for a post-graduate recognized New Zealand qualification.
- Bonus points for a principal applicant's partner's recognised qualification will increase to 20 points.
A detailed view of the changes to the SMC for skilled employment, recognized qualifications and work experience in an identified future growth area is below:
Increased Bonus Points for Skilled Employment:
|Category||Previous Policy||New Policy|
|Skilled Employment||5 points||10 points|
|Qualification||5 points||10 points|
|Work experience 2-5 years||5 points||10 points|
The number of years of New Zealand work experience required to qualify for points will be reduced as well. See the table below for further details:
Years of Work Experience Required for Bonus Points:
|NZ Work Experience||Points after 30 July|
|1 Year||5 points|
|2 years||10 points|
|3 years||15 points|
The Skilled Migrant Category policy will also be ammended to clarify that an Expression of Interest (lodged by a person applying for immigration to New Zealand) will only be selected based on the principal applicant's skilled employment in New Zealand and not the secondary applicant's skilled employment.
All SMC applications made on and after 30 July 2007 will be assessed against the new policy.
An increase in minimum base salary of NZ $50,000 per year will be applied to Residence from Work - Talent policy. Applicants must have employment that meets this criteria if their Work to Residence application is made on or after 30 July 2007. This change was made in response to increased average salary levels since the last minimum salary was set in 2001.
The Refugee Family Support Category will replace the previous Refugee Family Quota system. However, tier one registrations under the new policy will bot be accepted until 12 November 2007.Temporary Entry policy changes
Bulgaria and Romania will be added to the list of countries whose nationals are able to enter New Zealand as visitors, visa free for up to three months. Both countries joined the European Union on 01 January 2007.
Student visas or permits are available for students who are studying part time and are completing a course of study initiated in New Zealand, and is of two years duration, or qualifies for points under the SMC.
English language students who want a Variation of Condition (VOC) to their student visa or permit allowing them to work part time will be able to meet the English language requirement for the VOC after the initial date of application for a student visa or permit.
Tertiary exchange students who are undertaking a full-time course of study of at least one academic year's duration will be able to get a VOC to their student visa or permit which allows them to work part-time.
Student policy has also been ammended to clarify that partners of students studying towards a qualification on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) are not eligible for open work visas and/or permits. A student's partner must be studying for a qualification specified in the LTSSL.
The salary threshold for applications under the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Policy will increase from NZ $45,000 to NZ $50,000.
Changes to Visa and Permit Application Fees
New Zealand has also adjusted their fees for visas and permits. See the table below for an overview:
|Application category||Band A New Zealand||Band B Pacific or Sydney||Band C Any other location|
|Application for residence permit or visa - Skilled Migrant Category||1,400||1,200||1,800|
|Application for residence permit or visa - Business Investor Category||2,600||2,600||2,600|
|Application for residence permit or visa - Entrepreneur Category||2,600||2,600||2,600|
|Expression of Interest under Skilled Migrant Category - written paper notification||500||500||500|
|Expression of Interest under Skilled Migrant Category - online notification||400||400||400|
|Application for returning resident's visa||140||140||140**|
|Visitor permit or visa||130||100||130|
|Student permit - written paper application||200||-||-|
|Student permit - online application||70*||-||-|
|Work permit under talent (accredited employers), talent (arts, culture, and sports), and LTSSL work to residence policies||240||-||-|
|Work permit (partnership)||280||-||-|
|Work permit (other)||200||-||-|
|Work visa under talent (accredited employers), talent (arts, culture, and sports), and LTSSL work to residence policies||240*||240*||240**|
|Work visa under partnership policy||280||280||280|
|Work visa (other)||200||180||200*|
|Long-term business visa or permit||2,600||2,200||2,600|
|Group visitor visa, per person - Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei only||-||-||75*|
|Group visitor visa, per person - Bangkok (citizens of Thailand) only||-||-||75*|
|Group visitor visa, per person - ADS||-||-||40*|
|Group visitor visa, per person - other||80*||80*||80**|
|Application for limited purpose visa for study purposes||200||150||200*|
|Application for further limited purpose permit for study purposes||200||-||-|
|Application for limited purpose visa or permit - other||130||100||130|
|Application for transit visa||120*||120*||120**|
|For permit granted under section 35A of the Immigration Act||200||-||-|
|Application for variation of conditions of permit||120||-||-|
|Request by employer for approval in principle for granting of permit for purpose of recruitment of staff outside New Zealand||180||-||-|
|Transfer fee, where permit stamp or label transferred from one passport or certificate of identity to another||100||100||100*|
* indicates that the fee is unchanged
** indicates that the fee has decreased