Based on the fact, the processing Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa has been significantly delayed due to rigorous and more steps to check each application. Many of the applications submitted last year (Oct, Nov & Dec 2018) are still being processed. We found many DIY (do it yourself)'s are having problem with PPI letters from the case officers. Immigration Trust found that case officers issue more PPIs than before and certain cases we had up to 7.
Immigration Trust found that the below article represents what is happening with many SMC resident visa applications it deals.
Currently, applications were submitted last Oct are still being processed. The case officers issued multiple PPI letters. They even checked the minor transactions from the bank statements and asked for the clarification. Not just for one or two, but almost all of our SMC resident visa applications, these systematic delays occur.
During this waiting time, several clients of mine had their work visa expired, and we had to deal with them. A few clients had some delays with their work visa applications; hence, their interim visa expired, and we had to deal with the situation too.
We had shared this concern with other advisers and lawyers. They expressed that this could be a way to reduce the number of migrants before the election next year as the current government promised to reduce the number of net migrants. Of course, we have no tangible evidence to back it up, but it appears to be so.
Immigration New Zealand prepared a fact sheet that explains in more detail the changes that are planned and how they affect current visa holders and migrants planning to work in New Zealand.
The Government reveals new system for arranged marriages and partnership visas
The Government has decided to reopen the Parent resident visa category in early February 2020 with new requirements. The first selection is scheduled for May 2020. In the meantime, the category will temporarily close from today, 7 October 2019. This means that INZ will not accept expressions of interest (EOIs) from this date.
When the category reopens, 1,000 residence places will be available annually under the category.
Other changes from the current Parent resident visa criteria include:
· Tier Two of the category will be removed
· the settlement funds and the guaranteed lifetime income financial eligibility criteria will be removed
· the new financial requirements for the Parent resident visa can only be met through the income of the sponsor and their partner. Here are the new financial requirements based on a median salary of NZ$53,040:
Expected income thresholds
Settlement funds - Not available in new parent category
Sponsors will be required to provide evidence of their annual income through Inland Revenue tax statements, and that they’ve met it for two out of the three years before the application is lodged, and
The sponsorship period will be formally aligned with the New Zealand Superannuation residency eligibility requirement.
Existing EOIs in the queue under the Parent Category
People with EOIs in the system will be emailed to inform them of the changes and invited to either update their EOI or withdraw it. People who withdraw their EOI will be eligible for a fee refund.
When the Parent Category reopens, EOIs will be selected in date order based on the date INZ originally received them (regardless of whether they were submitted under Tier One or Tier Two).
Lower-paid foreign workers will be able to bring their families to New Zealand again after it was restricted in 2017 by the former National-led Government.
Former Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse announced the change in April 2017, part of measures "designed to strike the right balance" for immigration to New Zealand.
"It's important that our immigration settings are attracting the right people, with the right skills, to help fill genuine skill shortages," Woodhouse said at the time.
But that restriction on lower-paid workers bringing their families to New Zealand will now be removed, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced Monday.
The minister also said a simplified system for both employers and foreign workers will be introduced, with only one 'Temporary Work Visa' replacing the current six listed below:
"The new employer assisted temporary work visa process is more streamlined and less complex replacing six visa categories with one temporary work visa," the minister said.
A new employer-led visa application process will be introduced that will involve three stages: the employer check, the job check, and the worker check.
The new process will require all employers to be accredited before they can recruit a temporary foreign worker. There will be three types of accreditation:
The requirement to undertake a labour market test will also be removed entirely for employers in the regions looking to employ foreign workers who will be paid above the median wage.
That means there is no need for skill shortages lists in the regions and they will only exist for the five following cities: Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
For jobs with very high pay - 200 percent or twice the median wage - there will be no labour market test requirement.
And for jobs paying below the median wage, the labour market test settings "will be strengthened" to "better ensure" New Zealanders have the opportunity to fill the roles first.
The Government will also introduce 'sector agreements' in which certain sectors will agree to a conditions that must be met for recruiting foreign workers for specified key occupations.
"Sector agreements will be targeted at sectors with high reliance on temporary foreign workers and will enable specific terms and conditions for recruiting foreign workers," Lees-Galloway said.
The first agreements to be negotiated will likely be for the residential care and meat processing sectors. The process will formally begin before the end of 2019.
The other visa system changes will be implemented in stages to "help manage a smooth transition".
The new visa and application process will have a phased implementation in 2021.
In the meantime, employers and temporary foreign workers are being advised to continue using existing processes for hiring foreign workers.
The current immigration system has been criticised that it leaves employees vulnerable to exploitation.
Lees-Galloway said the changes will allow help to reduce exploitation.
The Minister of Immigration has announced the introduction of a new accreditation process for employer-assisted work visas. While specific details of the new policy are yet to be finalised, all the currently available information is on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Current information on changes to work visas
This process will not be fully implemented until 2021. However, there are some other changes that will be implemented in October this year.
Immigration instruction changes to come into effect on 7 October 2019
These changes are:
The immigration instructions that apply are those that are in place when the relevant application is received by INZ.
For example, any Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa application that is received by INZ on or after 7 October will need to meet the new salary threshold, regardless of when the applicant’s employer was granted accreditation.
People currently holding Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visas and people who apply before 7 October will still be able to apply for residence based on the salary threshold of $55,000.
Details regarding these upcoming changes can be found on INZ's website.
Changes to the Talent (Accredited Employer) policy
Permanent closure of the Silver Fern Job Search Visa
The government is sticking to its election promise of turning down the tap on immigration. Prior to the last election, Labour indicated it would reduce immigration numbers by 20,000 to 30,000, while New Zealand First pledged to take it right down to 10,000 from 70,000.
New figures show the government has slashed resident visa numbers to the lowest seen in the last two decades. In contrast, temporary work visas are at their highest point ever.
RNZ immigration reporter, Gill Bonnett, says net migration figures are still high. “If you look at work visas, they’re still very buoyant, and a lot of people still want to come into the country as tourists and as students.”
Bonnett says the sharp dive in residence numbers started with changes made by the previous National government.
But she says the decrease in resident numbers in the last year is largely because of delays in processing.
“It’s not clear whether that is part of the way they’re bringing the numbers down because they have a target to reach in terms of a lower number of residents.”
Bonnett says an anti-immigration sentiment started brewing about 2015 and 2016 when immigrants were blamed for high house prices and pressures on infrastructure. “People became very concerned with immigration when in fact some of the issues were not immigration-related at all. “I think that the National government, as it was then, decided to take a step back … to try and ease off on the temporary work visa numbers.
“To try and make it harder for people to become residents, they increased the number of points that skilled immigrants had to get in order to become residents here.”
In the lead-up to the election, New Zealand First was also very vocal about how immigration numbers needed to drop. Labour rhetoric echoed that sentiment, with talk of turning the tap down.
Bonnett says the net migration numbers - the numbers of people arriving in New Zealand minus those leaving - are holding steady. “Students are still trying to come into the country and international education is still a very big business.”
But a restructure at Immigration New Zealand, which coincided with visa volume rises, has thrown a spanner in the works. In an attempt to streamline the process and cut costs, Immigration New Zealand wanted to reduce the number of global visa processing centres from 25 to 10.
Bonnett says, “They didn’t forecast visa volumes to increase so they laid people off.” New people have been hired and trained in visa processing in Mumbai and Henderson, leading to significant delays and costs to businesses.
“[International] students couldn’t start courses, costing the international education sector $33 million within three to four months.” Additionally, visitors couldn’t make their trips in time and some operators had to cancel tours.
Bonnett says a lot of temporary visa applications are time sensitive, such as holidays, course starts and recruiting foreign workers.
About 26,000 applications for residence are waiting to be processed, up by 10,000 on this time last year.
In partnership visas, where one person is working or a student and their partner wants to join them, sometimes with children, there have also been long delays. “It’s been really tough on some of those the families where one part of the family is here and the other somewhere else”.
To read the actual article, visit here.
Families waiting for a government decision on whether overseas parents can join them say they feel like collateral damage as they wait for coalition parties to come to an agreement on immigration.
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway denies there is a stalemate, but says he has been unable to reach consensus with coalition partners over the parent category, which was suspended in 2016.
The visa allowed parents to join an immigrant child who had become a resident or citizen, but came under fire over disputed claims about the burden on taxpayers.
Thousands of applicants are waiting for a policy announcement.
Suspicions over New Zealand First's involvement in the continued lack of an announcement were raised by the party's MP Mark Patterson, who said the category would not be re-opened while the party was in government.
He subsequently corrected himself. But New Zealand First leader Winston Peters made his position clear before the category was suspended, highlighting claims that children were not living up to their sponsorship commitments and abandoning them to the welfare system.
Mr Lees-Galloway said officials had carried out the reviews, but its political allies had raised questions over what he was proposing.
"Some of these things just take time," he said. "Sometimes you need to work through the details and keep the conversation going. I wouldn't say - it's not a stalemate. It's just that this is one of those things which is taking a bit of time, but we continue to work through the questions and the details and I'm very keen to get to a decision."
He said he understood people's frustrations, and it was unfortunate that the previous government stopped the decision-making process for parents while continuing to accept applications, which he says fuelled the frustration.
But he accepted his government had not changed that process and was also still taking expressions of interest, which carry a $490 fee.
He still hoped for a decision in the "very near future".
"It's been on the agenda for a while now," he said. "We have that information now before us that now, the job of the government as a whole now is to reach a consensus view across the various parties of government. I'm still working towards that and I'm very keen to get a decision so that people have certainty about the future of the parent category."
New Zealander Brian Bookman, whose mother-in-law turns 85 next week in England, said the government claims kindness and well-being, and should "unlock and unravel this constipated immigration category".
"The Winston factor has only been in the realm of speculation, and I've just been at a loss as to understand why there has been such delay," he said.
"So now we're getting, maybe we are getting some clarity that it is a Winston thing."
Simon Sebastian, who runs a business in Hamilton, said his widowed mother Mary Sebastian has to leave in two months' time after reaching the maximum 18-month period allowed under a grandparent visa, missing the birth of her second grandchild.
The 68-year-old will have to stay in India for another 18 months before she can return.
The terms of that visa meant that she had to leave New Zealand every six months, so he has had to take leave to accompany her on short breaks in Australia or Fiji, to stay eligible.
"I strongly believe I have the ability, I have the money to look after my Mum," he said. "I have a job. I have a business. And I'm really happy to look after my Mum.
"I don't want any single Panadol from the New Zealand government. What I'm feeling is they're not doing their job properly. If they were doing their job properly, people won't suffer like this."
Immigration lawyer Richard Howard said before the election Labour strongly suggested it would re-open the parent category, but he was not holding his breath after many false starts.
"Clearly, it's a consequence of coalition government and Labour is keen on reintroducing a parent policy of some type and its coalition partners are not. And at this stage there doesn't seem to be any way forward from it," he said.
"It's not a good situation when the government is continuing to take some $490 off prospective applicants who legitimately would hold an expectation that something will eventuate from that initial application."
To read the actual article, click here.