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Craig Millard Brings You Up To Speed With Kiwi Emigration

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Craig Millard Brings You Up To Speed With Kiwi Emigration

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There have been a number of changes to visa legislation in New Zealand over the last 18 months which were intended to make the process of applying for visas much more straightforward and clear for applicants.

Craig Millard

New Zealand Visa Requirements.

There have been a number of changes tovisa legislation in New Zealand over the last 18 months which wereintended to make the process of applying for visas much morestraightforward and clear for applicants. Changes to points forexperience and partners' qualifications were amongst the changesmade, however, it is the changes in relation to the offer ofemployment that has caused the most challenges.

Offer of Employment

An offer of employment is central toobtaining any residency visa for New Zealand. In the majority ofcases, it is required in order for people to be able to make anapplication.

In February 2008, the New Zealand government changed its requirements in relation to offers of employment. They aligned themselves with Australia and produced a common list called the Australia & New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). Within the ANZSCO, all occupations have been graded with a skill level between 1 and 5. In general terms, those occupations with a skill level between 1 and 3meet the criteria of skilled employment and thus eligible for pointsclaims on a residency application.

The alteration took away much of the discretion that immigration officers had in determining whether anoccupation was skilled or not. Now, with each occupation and anoutline of the key tasks for each occupation listed in ANZSCO, immigration officers have a very defined set of criteria.

The beneficiaries of the change are,without doubt, immigration advisors. It has become considerably more risky for people to submit their own applications. Many people, having done what they think is the hard part and secured a job offer, can find themselves in the position of having an application declinedbecause the offer of employment does not meet the right criteria. Itis therefore increasingly important that people seek the right advice prior to starting on the path of a visa application.

How Immigration rank applications

Another regular misunderstanding by prospective emigrants is that the more points you have, the better.This is not strictly true. It is more about quality than quantity. Immigration New Zealand rank their applications according to defined criteria as noted below:

  • A) All those applications with over 140 points

  • B) Those applications with 100 points or more together with an offer of employment

  • C) Those applications with 100-135 points and claims for experience in an area of absolute skillshortage

  • D) Those applications with 100-135 points and claims for qualifications in an area of absolute skillshortage

  •  E) All other applications with 100-135 points

Those applications in category A or B will be selected to apply for residency straight away. The remainingselections are then ranked in priority with selections from group C,then D and then E. So it is clear that those in category E are not inthe most favourable position, and thus would be well advised to tryand secure an offer of employment.

Furthermore, those with just 100 points with an offer of employment, are in a better position than those with 130 points without an offer of employment.


Whilst the labour market in New Zealand has become tougher in recent months, Prime Minister, John Key, has reiterated the need for skilled workers from overseas to come in andsupport the New Zealand economy. Therefore, opportunities to move toNew Zealand are still very much available for skilled workers wanting a change in lifestyle.

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