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Immigration to New Zealand
New Zealand Immigration Policy - Residence:
Like all Governments around the world, the New Zealand Government operates an immigration policy to achieve social and economic goals through the temporary and permanent movement of people and skills. Nowadays, the New Zealand Government is focusing more on migrants who can demonstrate they will quickly add economic value to New Zealand although there is also a focus on allowing entry to those who will enhance the creative industries that occur in New Zealand.

The process is cyclical and successive Governments have struggled to achieve consistent inflows of migrants. This was never more true than today.

It is a disturbing reality that successive New Zealand Governments have failed to manage a consistent level of migration with wild swings in numbers of migrants causing distortions to the economic fabric of New Zealand.

What is clear is that the current Government will only allow entry to those migrants it believes will settle well.


This means a greater reliance on competency in English language ability under many categories and a greater sense of picking "winners and losers" before migrants will be allowed to come and live in New Zealand. The Government is moving to a far more selective and subjective approach when deciding those people it will and will not let into the country and this is making satisfying entry criteria far more complex.

The Government is now seeking to allow entry to around 48,000 people each year which includes a tolerance level of +/- 10%.

Cutting through New Zealand's immigration complexity for Migrants:
Although changes to the system over recent years have been made in an attempt to bring some transparency to immigration decisions, it has in fact added greater inconsistency and complexity to the process, with regional and even local differences making the task of the applicant a frustrating and often daunting one.

In this challenging and frustrating environment, a thorough understanding of immigration policy and practice, experience in the preparation and presentation of residence applications and a close working relationship with the bureaucrats who decide the outcome of applications is paramount to their successful passage.

We know government immigration policy even better than most people who work for the Immigration Department and even receive unsolicited referrals from the NZIS themselves! We understand intimately what is required to qualify for residence and focus on a clients strengths and ensure that Government officials get the documentation they need to approve an application if policy allows or to maximise the applicant's chances of success if they are applying under one of the more subjective categories. This has never been more important than it is now.

Government officials are there to administer government policy rigidly and dispassionately, with concern for rules, regulations and numbers. Their task is to accept or reject according to prescribed criteria not to facilitate. In recent policy changes the power of these bureaucrats has been increased.

In this bureaucratic climate a worthy applicant can often be deterred, disadvantaged or denied approval simply by their lack of knowledge of the finer points of New Zealand Immigration law, policy and practice and access to reliable information.

The rejection rates under some categories remain that high and for skilled migrants is around 30% in recent years.

Not surprisingly, the best private sector consultants have become critical to many applicants wanting to increase the certainty they will get the residence they seek. IMMagine Limited is among the very best in this field.

The eligibility criteria are complex and it is not possible to provide anything more than a fairly generalised overview here. If you seek further information on your eligibility we urge you to complete our preliminary assessment attached to this web site and if it indicates that you may qualify, you should then download and complete our comprehensive questionnaire and return it to us along with our assessment fee so we can advise you on what options you might have and what barriers you might confront.

In the feedback we receive from our web visitors we are often asked to add a detailed breakdown of the various immigration categories and a detailed explanation of how they work. We have resisted this as far as we can for a simple reason it is too complex to do so effectively. The risks to the reader are too high when trying to offer anything more than a summary of policy criteria.

The NZIS also operate a Website that will give you some idea of your eligibility but should be treated with caution. It is valuable as far as it goes and can be lethal for what it leaves out.

The reality is that every persons situation will be different and every angle needs to be explored if a successful strategy is to be identified. We therefore insist on carrying out our own assessment before accepting an assignment to ensure that the initial preliminary assessment points to a strong possibility of meeting eligibility criteria.

This is for the good of our clients because if we say you dont qualify it is highly unlikely any application you file will be successful. The Residence Appeal Authority (now called the Residence Review Board) continues to confirm that even the NZIS own web information and their so called self-assessment guides are only summaries which give an overview of policy but which cannot be counted on to convey all the critically important information the applicant requires.

Given the difficulty in speaking to an Immigration officer in person, with the current trend of Call Centres with inexperienced staff and high staff turnover (the highest of any Government Department in New Zealand) many people fail in their application because they cannot rely on the information provided by the NZ Immigration Service. We often spend days tidying up the messes caused by the NZIS and/or applicants not understanding a potentially very complex process.

What we offer you here then is a broad overview.

The New Zealand Government operates three immigration policy streams:
These streams are:

Skilled Migrant or Business (restricted to 27,000 persons each year).
Family (restricted to 14,500 persons each year)
International/Humanitarian (restricted to 3,500 persons each year).
Within these major streams are many subcategories of permanent entry and within those sub categories are further sub categories.

The policy worked as follows:

Under this category points are awarded primarily for a persons:

Education and qualifications,
Work experience,
Age,
Holding a "skilled" job offer in New Zealand.
Bonus points are available to those with job offers outside of Auckland, in areas of acute skill shortages, future growth areas, having a spouse with qualifications, work experience in New Zealand and New Zealand qualifications.


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