Immigration New Zealand has just announced that the points required for automatic selection of an Expression of Interest (EOI) for a Skilled Migrant Residence Visa have increased from 140 to 160 points.
The New Zealand Government has revised the target number of New Zealand Resident Visas down from 90,000 – 100,000 places over the past 2 years to 85,000 – 95,000 over the next 2 years.
At the same time there has been a tightening of the minimum standard of English requirements. Acceptable evidence that an applicant meets the minimum standard of English now includes citizenship of Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the USA provided that the applicant has spent at least 5 years in work or education on one or more of those countries or Australia or New Zealand. Also included are a recognised 2 year qualification equivalent to a New Zealand level 7 qualification that has been gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the USA or a 1 year qualification equivalent to the level 8 New Zealand qualification gained in one of the same countries.
The provision that allowed 12 months of full-time employment in New Zealand to be taken as evidence of a minimum standard of English have been removed. The ability for an applicant to satisfy minimum standards of English through other means such as previous country of residence or employment, or the ability of other family members to speak English has also been removed.