What does the increase from 140 – 160 points mean for a Skilled Migrant?
Yesterday the New Zealand Government announced that they were increasing the threshold for automatic selection of Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for Skilled Migrant Residency Visas from 140 to 160 points.
Since then I have had a number of enquiries from people who are concerned about how it effects their chances of obtaining residency as a Skilled Migrant
The Minimum Points Threshold Remains Unchanged:
The minimum number of points that are required to file an EOI is 100. This has not changed.
The Government has announced that it wants to reduce the number of residency applications from 90,000 – 100,000 over the past 2 years to 85,000 – 95,000 over the next 2 years – i.e. this is approximately a 5% drop in the target number of visas. In the June 2016 year Skilled Migrant category visas represented 57% of all new resident visas issued.
By the Numbers:
20,751 EOIs were selected in the year ended 28 September 2016. Of these, 3,706 or 18% had fewer than 140 points.
Assuming a 5% drop in EOIs selected and Skilled Migrant visas continuing to represent about 60% of the total residency programme approximately 19,700 EOIs will be drawn in the next 12 months.
Had 5% fewer EOIs been drawn in the past 12 months there would still have been 2,655 drawn below 140 points [19,700 – 20,751 + 3,706 = 2,655].
We can’t tell how low the points are for the lowest EOI drawn as Immigration New Zealand does not release that data. However, because a reduction of 5% is still less than the number of EOIs drawn under 140 points, it is probable that EOIs will continue to be selected at or below 140 points.
All that has changed is that the guaranteed threshold for selection from the pool has been raised. Of course even if your EOI is selected, you still have to satisfy health and character requirements to be issued an Invitation to Apply.
What does this all mean?
Bonus points, particularly the 30 points available for an offer of employment outside the Auckland region, become much more valuable. Other areas that bonus points can be earned in are for qualifications earned in New Zealand and/or in an area of absolute skill shortage or future growth, an offer of employment in an area of absolute skill shortage or future growth or a partner’s skilled employment or offer of skilled employment.
For example a person aged between 30 and 39 with a recognised trade qualification (level 4 – 6) and 6 years of work experience of which 2 is in New Zealand who has had employment in Auckland for 12 months or more will be able to claim 155 points. This is not enough to guarantee selection, but based on the numbers above they still have an excellent chance of being selected.
The same person with a level 7 (Bachelors) degree can claim 165 points and is guaranteed to have their EOI selected.
I’m thinking of filing an EOI – what should I do?
We predict that the next change will be a pruning of the Long Term Skilled Shortage List. The list is reviewed annually and we would expect a further review with some occupations being removed sometime in the next 2 months.