Law & Legal & Attorney Immigration Law

New Zealand Immigration Has a Points System for "Rating" Potential Immigrants to the Count

New Zealand is world renowned as one of the safest and friendliest places to live, as well as for having one of the most unique and beautiful environments, with a plethora of outdoor activities to choose from. As one of the most popular tourist destinations, this international appeal extends further to individuals and families who wish to make the move to New Zealand permanently.

In accordance with immigration policy, there are various categories under which entry may be applied for, including the skilled migrants, business and investment, family quotas, refugee status, and other miscellaneous categories relating to the relationships New Zealand has with its Pacific neighbours. However, the skilled migrant category is by far the main pathway to residency in New Zealand, ensuring that those people entering the country have the desired skills, experience and knowledge to further contribute to the growth of the economy and the creation of employment opportunities.

The skilled migrant category works under a point system, whereby points are earned on the basis of your qualifications, experience and job offer in New Zealand. The process by which this is applied for can be quite confusing to the new arrival, with various stages in the application process which must be strictly adhered to. At the first step, an expression of interest must be submitted, and upon obtaining the required points, the application will be entered into a pool of suitably qualified individuals. Immigration New Zealand will then screen the applications, only choosing the highest qualified, to invite to apply for residency. At this stage, requests are made for all documentation relating to the application, including passports, medical examinations, certificates and other documents verifying your qualifications and experience. The application is then assessed and a decision to grant or deny residency made.

If you want to immigrate to New Zealand, then you need to check to see if you qualify for residence. Immigrating to another country is not just a case of packing up your bags and booking the next flight out. Each country has to ensure that each immigrant is going to add value to the country as a whole and not become a burden to the state. In other words it must be a win win situation: you get to move to the country of your dreams and the country gains a valuable citizen that can add value to society and the economy.

For this reason New Zealand Immigration has a points system for "rating" potential immigrants to the country. The more value you can add to the country, the more points you will gain. You are assessed over a wide spectrum of suitability criteria. Some of these criteria are: how many working years you have left, how healthy you are, what skills you can add to the work force, how scarce those skills are, if you have family that can also contribute to the New Zealand society, etc.

If you or your partner already have a job or job offer in New Zealand, then you can obviously add value to the country, so you will gain good points for that. It is however important to note that the work you do must be a skilled job and not just any menial job offer. Remember it's all about adding value to the country. Menial jobs can be done by anyone. New Zealand is looking for workers that are specialised or have had specialised training in order to be able to the job. In an ideal world you will work in an area where New Zealand has a shortage of it's own workers, so you will "fill the gap" so to speak.

New Zealand Immigration has a list of occupations where they have identified shortages in the Kiwi workforce. If your occupation is on the list, then you will be awarded bonus points for a job offer or current employment.

The more education you have, the more skills you are able to add to the New Zealand workforce, the more points you will gain. As with skilled employment, the more scarce your education is, eg., a doctorate, the more points you earn.

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