Queen City Law Immigration expert Bradley So explores the Skilled Migrant Category this week. Bradley has produced a number of useful articles on immigration you might find valuable they are compiled here.

To download and print the article as a pdf click here.

The starting point for this category is calculating the points you can claim, the minimum amount required to be selected from the Expression of Interest pool is 100 points.

The points are distributed based on the following:

1) Age;

2) Job or job offer;

3) Qualification;

4) Work experience;

5) Your partner’s qualification or job; and

6) Close family support in New Zealand.

The above factors are used to assess your ability to be selected from the pool. Provided that you can claim a minimum of 100 points and meet the settlement and contribution factors, you would qualify under the Skilled Migrant Category. The main drivers for the settlement and contribution factors are:

1) Obtaining a skilled job offer or if you are already working in a skilled job; and

2) Completed a doctorate or masters in NZ for at least two years.

Meeting either of the above requirements means that you are deemed to meet the settlement and contribution factor which will ensure approval of your residence visa application subject to satisfying the verification requirements.

If you do not meet the above requirements, then Immigration NZ will conduct a secondary assessment provided that you are still able to claim above 100 points even without the skilled job offer or the a doctors/master degree in NZ.

However, secondary assessment is discretionary and will be subject to Immigration NZ being satisfied that you can acquire a skilled job in NZ. The secondary assessment generally requires an interview with a case officer whereby they will  consider the following factors:

1) Skilled employment prospects;

2) Familiarity with NZ and preparedness for settlement in NZ; and

3) Linkages and support in NZ, through network and family.

The threshold is high and so it is extremely difficult to get a residence visa without a skilled job offer. However, Immigration NZ may issue a 9 month open work visa to allow you to test your ability to find a skilled job.

It is our recommendation that you secure a skilled job before applying under the Skilled Migrant Category. Before considering an application, you need to ensure that your job offer is skilled.

Please contact us to discuss whether your job qualifies as skilled under the Skilled Migrant Category.