NEW ZEALAND | New Stricter Standards for Residence of Skilled Migrants
Effective October 12, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has made significant changes to its Residence Programme (NZRP), which manages residence authorizations for skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs, and their accompanying dependents. The changes are designed to curb the growth in immigration to the country which has continued to exceed INZ targets and posted a record-high net immigration level this past year, according to Statistics New Zealand figures. The primary countries whose citizens are fueling this current growth are India, China, and neighboring Australia.
The most significant of these changes is an increase in the minimum criteria level required for applicants to qualify under the Skilled Migrant category of residence. Determined by a points-based system, foreign nationals must now earn at least 160 points to qualify automatically (an increase from the previous 140- point requirement). Expressions of Interest (EOIs) will still be considered for candidates scoring 100 points and above if they hold a job offer in New Zealand, but automatic approval will now be reserved for those at the 160-point level and above.