The land of opportunity, land of immense natural beauty & lucrative life style of the country is always a sought after destination for aspiring immigrants. The country has its own variety of landscape within its small area (as compared to other continents) i.e. golden beaches with blue seas as well as ice covered mountains. Even in comparisons on standard of living, life expectancy, education, literacy, the country comes in top most ranks by defeating others. The country is also safe to live as corruption ratio is very low.
The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is the way skilled migrants qualify to gain Permanent Residence (PR) to New Zealand. It is managed by Immigration New Zealand under the Immigration Act , and currently has a target of attracting 26,000 migrants per year. The SMC replaced in the late 1990s a seriously flawed system that had resulted thousands of supposedly skilled migrants coming into NZ, who were subsequently unable to work in their skilled professions in NZ due to various factors, such as their overseas qualifications not being recognized in NZ, were unable to get occupational registration in NZ, or were unable to speak English.
The SMC combines both a points-based system as well as minimum requirements. While the points can vary (although the minimum points allowed under law is 100), the minimum requirements are that one be aged 55 or under, be healthy, be of good character, and speak English (or pay an English Language Tuition Bond).
Under the SMC, points are allocated for age, work experience, employment in New Zealand and qualifications, amongst other categories. If you have 100-135 points you are able to submit an EOI but it may not be selected. In this range, the required number of points varies each fortnightly selection depending on demand. You’re more likely to be successful if you have
For skilled employment, an applicant gets 50 points for either skilled job offer in New Zealand, or if the applicant is already working in a skilled job in New Zealand for less than 12 months. If the applicant is working in a skilled job in New Zealand for more than 12 months, they get 60 points. If the job is outside the Auckland Region, a further 30 bonus points are allocated. However, INZ only recognises certain jobs as being skilled, and these occupations are contained on Appendix 6 in the INZ manual. In addition, the applicant must also meet the work experience and qualifications prescribed to that job by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
For qualifications, an applicant gets 40 points recognised level 4-6 qualification (e.g. trade qualification, diploma), 50 points for a recognised level 7 or 8 qualification (e.g. bachelor's degree, bachelor's degree with honors), and 60 points for recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualifications (master's degree, doctorate). Foreign qualifications must be verified by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority before points can be claimed, although there are numerous exceptions to this rule. This process can take several months. If the applicant has studied in NZ, they can get 10 points for either two years full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised bachelor's degree New Zealand qualification, or completing one year of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised post-graduate New Zealand qualification (15 points for 2 years' post-graduate study).
Under this category, one gets the following points for skilled employment in certain countries
In addition to this, the applicant can also get bonus points for skilled work experience in New Zealand, five points for one year's experience, 10 points for two years' experience, and 15 points for three or more years' experience. If the work experience is in an area of absolute skills shortage, for 2 to 5 years' work experience the applicant gets 10 points, and for 6 or more years' experience 15 points. However, to qualify for these points, the job must be on the Long-term Skill Shortage List, and the applicant must have the prescribed amount of work experience and qualifications. The immigration officer will need 2 forms of evidence to prove work experience, such as pay slips, bank statements (showing one's pay), letters from the Inland Revenue Department (tax), Work and Income New Zealand (social security) deduction documents, work references, etc.
The process commences with lodging an Expression of Interest form, either on a paper form or online, and paying the appropriate fee. As of September 2014, it costs NZ$650 to make a paper application and NZ$530 for an online application. INZ makes a selection out of the pool. Applicants with 160 points or more are generally automatically accepted without having to go into the pool. Once an applicant's EOI has been selected, they are notified by mail. An immigration officer is then assigned to the application. Recently this has taken between 6 to 9 months. By July 2014 INZ is aiming to assign a case officer within 2 weeks. When the immigration officer is assigned, it is requested that one verifies their claims in their EOI, plus supply a medical, a police clearance certificate, and proof of English ability. Four months are given to submit all this, otherwise the application lapses. After all this is provided and verified, one is then given a letter saying one is approved for Residence. However, residence is not granted until the applicant's passport is sent to INZ, and the prescribed fee is paid. Three months are given to do this, otherwise the offer of residence lapses.