Getting New Zealand residence in 2017~2018

With all the changes proposed by the current Government and the Opposition, it is looking harder and harder for migrants to come to New Zealand to work and to live. It is still going to be possible, but there changes will make it harder if you are low skilled and not motivated to change this.

What type of people are going to be more successful for visas in the coming year?

People who are qualified, educated and skilled in their work will have the best chance of success. New Zealand needs workers who can contribute to society and to the economy, and these workers will get more points or have more privileges under the proposed visas systems. It may well be easier for some people who are in the mid 30's and have skilled jobs.

What do I do if I am not qualified or skilled?

You need to become qualified or skilled, it is that simple. You often don’t need to have a qualification if you have several years’ work experience in your skilled job. For example if you are a car mechanic and are very good at the job, and have worked as a mechanic for more than 3 years, then INZ will recognise that you are qualified by experience. It also makes it easier to get a job if you are good at it. If you start planning your pathway early, it gives you time to study or re-skill for a more suitable job for residence in New Zealand. You may find that you just need to take a part time course, or to focus on a slightly different area of your current job. Whatever you need to do, it can often be easier to do it before you come to New Zealand.

A professionally planned pathway

This leads us to the idea of pathways. What if you are not qualified or experienced? You need time to study or train or work to get experienced, but by that time the system may have changed again… No person can definitely say what will happen in the future, but a professionally planned pathway for work and residence will give you the best chance possible. In the past many people have been able to get residence just by sticking to the same job for a few years, trying and application and luckily succeeding. I think we have seen the last of this type of success. For future applicants a well planned pathway from start to finish will be the most important asset to help with a successful residence attempt.

Do it yourself?

INZ will still accept applications prepared by the applicant, but unless you are extremely dedicated to the process, can understand the complex law around the applications and the general trends in the changing landscape around New Zealand immigration law, then things become less and less certain for a DIY application. A lawyer or licensed immigration adviser adds value to the pathway by giving professional advice based on knowledge and understanding of immigration law and the likely changes to the New Zealand immigration situation.

Because a pathway can be a journey through 3 or 4 visa applications, it is essential that all the applications succeed if the final residence application is to succeed. There are going to be less second chances if the proposed changes are true to the information we have seen so far, so if a work visa application fails for example there is going to be less time available to fix this.

Each visa is also going to have to be used to its maximum advantage. For example, until now people have been using their post study work visas on low skilled jobs, after the changes this is going to severely restrict future working options in New Zealand. People are going to have to work hard to make it to the next step.