Due to various reasons, NZ government decided to temporarily close the category October last year. However, based on our conversation with multiple government officials, it would be reintroduced in the future with more restriction and better control over how the parent will access to social services including a hospital.
If you would like to update with the category, please leave your comment here so you will be notified when we make an announcement here.
Under pressure from his mother in Fiji and his sick sister in Hamilton, a Palmerston North man committed immigration fraud by pretending to be his mother's nephew.
But unlike his mother, he will not go to jail for his crimes.
Mohammad Khan was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court to 10 months' home detention for three charges of immigration fraud. They all relate to his mother, Kamla Wati, who was sentenced to 19 months' jail in January for her part in the fraud. Wati visited New Zealand three times between 2009 and 2012, but was declined residency on character grounds because of her history of shoplifting.
She was also denied a visa eight times, but managed to get back into New Zealand in 2015 by using a false passport she sourced in Fiji under the alias Rukhmanny.
She got Khan to fill in a character reference for her on some of the failed applications, and he did so again for the fraudulent application. He covered his tracks by saying he was his mother's nephew.
Prosecution lawyer Greg La Hood, from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, said Khan's offending was premeditated as he knew his mother had been declined eight times.
The pair worked together, and Khan knew it was a serious offence because he had to swear his character reference in front of a Justice of the Peace, La Hood said. "The reality is this is fraud, no matter what context you look at it in. It impacts the integrity of the immigration system, which relies heavily on honest disclosures. If people come in fraudulently, it impacts people who are honestly trying to come in and are unable to do so."
Defence lawyer Tony Thackery said Khan was put under pressure by his mother and sister. His sister was suffering from mental illness, and his mother wanted to get into New Zealand to look after her, Thackery said. "Yes, he helped his mother. She put the whole thing together to get into New Zealand and called on her son to assist with sponsorship." It was hard to show true remorse with charges such as immigration fraud because there was no tangible victim, Thackery said.
Judge Jim Large read from a pre-sentence report, in which the writer said Khan had commented he was in trouble for signing a "stupid piece of paper". "Immigration documents are not stupid pieces of paper," the judge said. "It was totally wrong of you. People in all sorts of roles in ministries and government departments rely on people to make honest declarations, and people who make false declarations do attack the integrity of the system."
The pressure from family and the fact he had young children were taken into account when calculating Khan's final sentence, the judge said.
To read the actual article, click here.
Immigration NZ will take their 4 fold test on any partnership-based visa. It is onus for applicants to prove their relationship is genuine and long-lasting to meet the test. Immigration Trust has encountered several cases that clients think their relationship is genuine so nothing they need to prove.
Unfortunately, it is wrong. You must prepare every detail to convince your case officer. One of the cases we dealt had to include more than 200 pages communications between a couple.
Even though you are getting married legally, having your family over to NZ to attend the ceremony is not easy. Immigration Officers work mostly based on the checklist. They do not know your personal stories, and your case is one of many they need to deal with daily based. It is your (our) job to explain and convince them. Immigration Trust managed many cases like this successfully knowing how each case is being accessed.
'Spectre of deportation' looms over wedding after family of Vietnamese bride barred from NZ"
A Vietnamese woman will walk down the aisle alone after her family were declined visitor visas to New Zealand in a move labelled "nasty and vindictive" by her husband-to-be.
Pham Thu Thuong Nguyen, known as Thuong, and her fiance, Kirk Robertson, known as Seamus, are getting married on Saturday at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oxford, North Canterbury. But her mother, two sisters, brother-in-law and niece will not be able to make the ceremony after Immigration New Zealand (INZ) declined their visa applications on the grounds they had limited incentives to return to Vietnam.
"She was distraught after hearing her family wouldn't be coming," Robertson said, speaking from his family home where he and Thuong have been living since December. "It's the only day in her life she's ever going to get married and because of some bureaucratic glitch they are disallowing her the opportunity to have her family here for her wedding. That is cruel and vindictive."
The couple have had their issues with INZ. In September, the department gave Thuong 42 days to leave the country after declining her application for a year-long Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa. The visa was declined by INZ because it was not satisfied Robertson and Thuong were living together in a genuine and stable relationship, despite more than 100 pages of submissions in support from friends and family. The couple started a relationship in 2016 and had been living together since December after Robertson moved back from Australia to look after his terminally ill father and the family business after the death of his mother.
Because they were staying with his 77-year-old father, Angus Robertson, Seamus Robertson said they had no rental agreement or utilities bills to help prove they lived together. "The irony is 100 years ago [this week] my grandfather stood on the fields of Passchendaele and fought for New Zealand's freedom, and now some immigration official is saying his grandson is not trustworthy," he said.
Robertson was convinced INZ had declined visas for Thuong's family because of her own visa situation. "It's meant to be the happiest day of our lives and they're making sure that the spectre of deportation looms over her head."
INZ area manager Sarah Clifford said while Thuong's immigration status was considered during the assessment of her family's visa applications, it did not play a significant factor. Their visas were declined on "bona-fide grounds due to limited incentives to return home", she said.
"All five live in a high-risk area of Vietnam, have no previous travel history to any countries, declared low employment or self-employment in Vietnam and limited evidence of personal funds or savings." Angus Robertson said the decision was insulting.
He personally sponsored each of Thuong's relatives' visa applications, which included a guarantee he would cover any enforcement costs should they not meet their visa requirements. "What they're saying is they want me to be responsible, then they turn around and say 'we won't let these people in because we think they're gong to stay and work, which means you Mr Robertson are crap'," he said. "They won't bloody stay, they want to come for the wedding then go home."
The 77-year-old had also offered to pay for all their costs during the trip to New Zealand, a repayment of sorts after the engagement party Thuong's family had put on in Vietnam in April. "I'm a taxpayer, I pay my taxes, they're public servants who are supposed to do their job properly and they haven't done it. So that just made me wild," he said.
Seamus Robertson and Thuong had applied for ministerial intervention in her case, and the couple were also appealing the decision through the Ombudsman. Clifford said the ministerial intervention request would be considered by a senior INZ official. "INZ can confirm that no compliance action will take place until the request has been decided," she said.
- The Press
See read the actual article appeared in here.
Off-shore Entrepreneur Work Visa (EWV) Application will not be kindly advised to include any missing information from 17th October 2017.
Current process time for each EWV can be way over one year as it takes around 10 months for the case to be allocated to a Business Immigration Specialist.
Business Migration Brach (BMB) has been offering an opportunity to comment on information even when it was outside of the definition of PPI materials (E7.15.1) before a decision being made and send an update to its clients’ applications. This may have been abused and slowed down the entire process as some applicants or advisers poorly prepared their application and submitted first to wait to be guided what they have missed by INZ.
To reduce this unacceptable delay, BMB in Wellington has done the process review recently. The change will ensure that the Business Immigration Specialists will spend less time correcting poorly prepared application, especially the ones made off-shore and will make the decision based on what has been presented.
Therefore it is crucially important for any offshore EWV applications to be properly prepared and submitted to BMB.
For those principal applicants who are onshore, there will be no change to BMB's the current process.
Simon Park, the founder & CEO of Immigration Trust shared his view on immigration via www.stuff.co.nz
Influx of immigrants unlikely to slow as National takes pole position.
A "layed back, relaxed, chilled out" lifestyle is why Vikar Singh loves New Zealand. Filling a skills shortage was his ticket in. As National stands to keep the helm for another three years, Singh is left appreciating that if he applied today, his path to residency may have been tougher.
As of August 28, migrants like him who came in under the Skilled Migrant Category no longer earn points for qualifying in an area of "absolute skills shortage", or for experience and qualifications in future growth areas, such as ICT and creative industries. This wasn't the case in 2014 when Singh took up a position in IT.
Hopeful immigrants will still be breathing a sigh of relief, however, with the alternative of a Labour-led government likely to have resulted in crackdowns of up to 30,000 fewer new arrivals annually.
New Zealand has experienced record high immigrant numbers in recent years. Statistics NZ recorded net migration totalled 72,305 in the year to June 30, a figure which had been steadily increasing since late 2012.
With the election looking sewn up, National's changes to the Essential Skills work visa for temporary migrants and the Skilled Migrant Category policy are here to stay, as is the growth in numbers.
An Immigration spokesman said the Government's changes were not designed to affect the number of migrants coming in, but to improve the skill levels of permanent settlers and ensure lower-skilled temporary migrants were "clear about their future prospects in New Zealand".
One of Labour's key reasons for putting the squeeze on immigration was in order to fill jobs with New Zealanders, rather than immigrants.
The changes to the Essential Skills Work Visa policy was National's answer to this, being designed to keep New Zealanders were at the front of the queue for jobs while preserving the temporary labour necessary to keep economic growth ticking over. Those classified as lower-skilled, who earned less than the 85 per cent of the median wage, can only stay in the country for three years, after which they must spend 12 months outside New Zealand before they can be granted another visa in a lower-skilled role. Previously, partners and children could obtain work and student visas. Today, partners and children will need to meet the requirements for a visa in their own right.
For Simon Park, director of the Immigration Trust, the crackdown was not only a politically savvy move, but a smart one, with the dependents of many immigrants creating additional strain on education and health systems. However, despite the official line touting the new rules as upping quality without cutting numbers, Park said the result would be a decrease.
Figures from May showed there were just over 38,000 Essential Skills visa holders, and by setting the mid-skilled remuneration threshold at 85 per cent of the New Zealand median wage is expected to result in between 9700 and 11,800 of them classified as lower-skilled, all of whom will be covered by the new rule limiting stays to three years.
Singh was particularly concerned for those in the hospitality industry - which many migrants came to New Zealand to study - who he said would feel the sting of the new bands particularly strongly.
"People who are earning less than we get in IT will suffer," he said. "Immigrants can never be seen as a liability - we are always an asset to a country. We always contribute."
In addition, seasonal workers will have their visas limited to the length of their work, rather than 12 months.
- Sunday Star Times
Currently, due to MMP, it is likely that new NZ government would be formed by National and NZ First Party. Hence it is essential to understand what Rt Hon Winston Peters' stance for Immigration which will affect future NZ Immigration policy somehow if he goes with National Party.
"Housing, health services, and infrastructure will continue at bursting point with annual net migration in the August 2017 year reaching 73,500," says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“The government deludes the public these migrants are skilled – it’s a myth, most of them are unskilled and drawn to this country in many cases by the generosity of our social services. Few countries in the world are as generous, or soft, as we are. Where are the new hospitals, the extra doctors and nurses, the new schools and general infrastructure to cope with all these people? New Zealanders find it harder to get a job with the influx from overseas. The fact is every year we are creating a city the size of Rotorua and the country cannot handle it. Even the Prime Minister admits they can’t keep up with population growth,” says Mr Peters.
To read the actual article click here.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has confirmed plans to bring the bulk of visa processing back onshore and to employ 110 more local staff to do them. This comes after the Herald revealed last month the agency was paying its overseas officers as little as $4 an hour, and much of the visa processing was being done in countries such as Thailand and India.
The sweeping changes under the new plan will see the closure of eight overseas offices - Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Bangkok, New Delhi, Pretoria, Moscow and Shanghai - and two in New Zealand. Processing will also cease in four other offices - Manila, Washington DC, London and Dubai. Just two overseas offices, Mumbai and Beijing, will be kept open and retain their visa-processing capacity.
The New Zealand Association of Migration and Investment (NZAMI) is "cautiously" welcoming the proposal.
INZ general manager Steve Stuart said: "INZ can confirm it is consulting staff on proposals to align and consolidate visa processing, which will create 110 extra jobs in New Zealand over the next three years by moving more visa processing onshore."
Under the proposals, INZ's overseas presence would be reduced from 17 locations to five - with just the Beijing and Mumbai offices, as well as three offices in the Pacific, remaining. The agency earns more than $200m each year from visa fees, and currently has about 560 overseas officers.
"Retaining the Pacific offices ... provides additional service delivery stability as INZ works through a significant period of change," Stuart said. "Mumbai and Beijing ... are proposed to remain to reflect the high volume of student and visitor visa applications made in those markets and for business continuity reasons."
He said a "significant investment" in the agency's technology platforms and the increasing popularity of online visa applications provided an opportunity to "evolve our operating model". The agency also plans to significantly reduce the number of public service counters here, closing both its Auckland Central and Henderson offices. Only Manukau, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Porirua and Christchurch would remain in operation.
"There is a diminishing need for public service counters at our offices, and we already operate a contact centre for customer inquiries," Stuart said. The agency was discussing the proposed changes with stakeholder groups including immigration advisers, and the staff consultation period will run until Friday, September 29. Stuart said a decision was expected by the end of the year.
NZAMI director Simon Moore said he was concerned that verification in risk markets could suffer by not having overseas officers with an understanding of cultural intricacies and trends of fraudulent behaviour. "We do feel sympathy for those officers from offshore branches ... who will lose their jobs and livelihoods," Moore said. "The association is concerned that ... visa processing times are further delayed, then the move will have a negative impact."
Toni Alexander, a licensed immigration adviser, is sceptical about the proposal. "The fact that INZ is keeping Mumbai, Beijing and the Pacific branches open indicates clearly that it plans to continue to save cost by employing people in these low-cost markets - the same markets identified as risk markets," Alexander said.
To read the actual article, check here.
Immigration New Zealand decisions on post-study work visas are being slammed as "overly harsh" as one in two applicants in Auckland are being declined.
Figures obtained through the Official Information Act revealed that Immigration's Auckland Central offices had the highest rejection rate in the country - with 49.5 per cent of the 222 applications processed declined in May.
Massey University immigration expert Paul Spoonley said the rate could be because of the way the centre is administered or "something about the applicants".
Immigration's Henderson office was the busiest office for processing this type of visa with 4064 since January last year, compared to Auckland's 2051. However, of the 327 applications it received in May, just 39 were declined.
New Zealand Association of Migration and Investment chairwoman June Ranson said: "We believe they are being overly-harsh at this point in the immigration process." The agency, however, said it did not accept that the rejection rate in Auckland was unusually high. The post-study work visas are aimed at giving students an opportunity to work and gain practical experience to a later skilled employment.
"Immigration NZ needs to look at the potential of these students," Ranson said.
She said the decline rates also indicated how international students are being misguided in their study paths in New Zealand. "With the bulk of international students being in Auckland, these figures reflect a sad situation," Ranson said.
"We question what is happening now to help these students before they leave their tertiary institutions."
Mark Anthony Pacifico, 35, who graduated with a diploma in IT level 7, had his application declined at the Auckland office despite having his employer's support for work as a technical support representative.
"My brother, who took an identical pathway, was approved a couple of years earlier and is already a permanent resident," Pacifico said. "It's really like a game of roulette, because Immigration's decision making isn't structured. Who knows what the outcome would have been if I had applied through another branch."
Maricel Weischede, a licensed immigration adviser, said the way visa officers assessed applications had changed "dramatically" this year. "What becomes important now in the assessment is that 'the Immigration Officer is satisfied' that the employment provided practical experience relevant to the applicant's study," she said. "How an officer can be satisfied seems to be discretionary, and the application process is clearly unpredictable." Weishede said she was planning to lodge a complaint against the agency.
Immigration area manager Marcelle Foley acknowledged that approval and decline rates can vary between offices. "For example, the approval rate for applications dealt with by the Henderson office tend to be higher than elsewhere as they are submitted by licensed immigration advisers," Foley said.
"Every visa application is rigorously assessed on a case by case basis against Immigration instructions and may be declined for a wide range of reasons."
Foley said a graduate work experience visa would only be granted where an immigration officer was satisfied that the offer of full-time employment was one which would provide practical experience relevant to the applicant's course or qualification.
Changes to the Skilled Migrant Category were announced on 19 April 2017 and will be implemented on 28 August 2017. The Skilled Migrant Category changes are designed to ensure we are attracting migrants who bring the most economic benefits to New Zealand and to improve the skill composition of people gaining residence under the Skilled Migrant Category.
The changes to the Skilled Migrant Category include:
Why is the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) changing?
The Government is committed to ensuring our immigration settings best support the economy and the labour market. These changes are designed to improve the skill composition of the SMC and ensure that it prioritises higher-paid and higher-skilled migrants.
How is the SMC changing?
The SMC is changing to improve the skill composition of people gaining residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and ensure we attract migrants who bring the most economic benefits to New Zealand.
The changes affect many aspects of the policy, including:
Points for employment, work experience and qualifications in identified future growth areas, as well as points for qualifications in areas of absolute skills shortage and points for close family in New Zealand.
When will the changes come into effect?On 28 August 2017.
Are the changes designed to allow fewer people to be granted residence under the SMC?
While there will be an impact on some people in lower-paid employment, the changes expand the definition of skilled employment to allow some people to gain residence who have previously been unable to claim points for their employment in New Zealand – people who are not currently considered to be in skilled employment because their job is not in an Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) skill level 1, 2 or 3 occupation will be able to claim points for their job if they meet the relevant remuneration threshold.
Will particular types of applicants benefit from the changes?
The changes put more focus on skilled work experience, more recognition of skill levels in the 30-39 age group and high remuneration levels.
Are there any changes to the health, character or English language requirements?
Will the selection point change when the new SMC comes into effect?
No, the selection threshold for Expressions of Interest when the new SMC comes into effect will be 160 points. The selection point is able to be adjusted by the Minister of Immigration as necessary for the overall planning range of the New Zealand Residence Programme, so the selection point may change from time to time.
When will the first selection be under the new policy settings?
The first selection will be on Wednesday 6 September 2017.
Has the process for applying for residence under the SMC changed?
No, the process for applying has not changed.
There are four steps:
How will this affect the points awarded?The number of points that people can claim for criteria under the SMC has changed. New requirements may also need to be met to gain these points. Details can be found from here.
What are the specific changes in each policy area?
The key changes for skilled employment points are:
For all occupations, training and experience requirements can also be met by the following:
How will INZ work out whether my remuneration is above the threshold?
INZ will assess your remuneration based on your employment agreement or offer of employment, and may request further information about your pay and hours of work if this is required.
We will calculate remuneration based on payment per hour. Each hour of work must be paid above the applicable per hour remuneration threshold.
If your employment agreement specifies payment other than by hour (such as by salary), we will calculate the payment per hour by dividing the annual salary by 52 weeks, followed by the number of hours that will be worked each week.
If your employment agreement specifies a range of hours, the maximum hours will be used to calculate whether the remuneration threshold is met. If your employment agreement specifies payment by salary and the hours of work vary, we may request evidence of the range of hours to assess whether the different hours worked would result in the per hour rate of pay being below the remuneration threshold.
To work out if you meet the remuneration threshold, we will exclude employment-related allowances (for example tool or uniform allowances) and bonuses which are dependent on performance and include:
Will the remuneration thresholds change?
The remuneration thresholds will be reviewed in November each year, based on information from New Zealand income data.
Skilled work experience
The key changes for skilled work experience points are:
Qualifications, age and partner’s qualifications
Can my application under the SMC be approved if I do not have skilled employment in New Zealand?
To be approved residence, an applicant needs to have either skilled employment in New Zealand (or an offer of skilled employment), or a Master’s degree or Doctorate gained after two years of study in New Zealand. If you are assessed as having sufficient points to meet the selection threshold, and you meet health, character and English language requirements, but do not have skilled employment in New Zealand (or a Master’s degree or Doctorate gained after two years of study in New Zealand), we will defer the decision on your application and invite you to apply for a job search visa. This job search visa will allow you to look for skilled employment in New Zealand. The decision on your residence application will be deferred while you look for skilled employment.
How long can I be in New Zealand on the job search visa?
If you meet the requirements for of the job search visa policy and are already in New Zealand, you will be granted a job search visa valid for 9 months. If you meet the requirements of the job search visa policy and you are outside New Zealand you will be granted a job search visa valid for 12 months.
If I don’t get a skilled job within that timeframe, what will happen to my resident visa application?
Your application for residence under the SMC will be declined.
Can I bring my family with me on the job search visa?
No, the job search visa will only be granted to the principal applicant.
I have employment in New Zealand and the pay for my job is below the threshold, however I am expecting a pay increase – can I submit my Expression of Interest (EOI) now?
You should wait until your pay is above the minimum remuneration threshold. If you claim points for your job in your EOI but your pay is below the threshold, points will not be awarded.
In which areas will points no longer be awarded?
Points will no longer be awarded in the following areas:
These lists are both being removed from Immigration New Zealand’s Operational Manual as they are no longer relevant.
Will there be different remuneration thresholds in different regions of New Zealand?
No there is no regional variation. The remuneration threshold will be the same throughout New Zealand.
Will the new policies affect the way that student visas or post study work visas are assessed?
No. The changes apply to the SMC residence policy. They do not affect the assessment of student visas or post study work visas (including graduate job search or employer assisted).
I’m currently studying towards a PhD, which I expect to complete soon. However, even without points for my PhD or for skilled employment, I think I’m eligible for at least 100 points. Can I submit an Expression of Interest now?
You may wish to wait until you’ve finished your studies, before submitting your EOI. You can submit an EOI, however you will also need to meet the selection threshold to have your EOI assessed and to be invited to apply for residence. After submission to INZ, EOIs remain valid for six months only.
Additionally, an application for residence under SMC cannot be approved unless you have skilled employment, or have completed and been awarded a Doctorate or Master’s degree after at least 2 years’ study in NZ, and you have enough points to meet the selection threshold.
There are students who began their studies under the impression that they would meet the points threshold and be able to apply for SMC. What happens to current students who are worried that they won’t meet SMC requirements because of the recent changes?
While we understand that changes to immigration policies can cause confusion and uncertainty for students, they will need to meet the SMC requirements that apply at the time they lodge their application. People whose EOIs have been selected from the SMC Pool before the change to the policy will be able to apply under the rules in place before 28 August 2017 if their selection results in an invitation to apply.
I have already submitted my SMC application but it has not yet been finalised. What will happen to my application if it’s not decided until after the changes come into effect?
Because your application was submitted before the changes come into effect it will continue to be assessed under the current instructions.
My SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) has been selected from the SMC Pool but I have not yet been invited to apply. If I receive an invitation to apply before the changes come into effect but do not submit my SMC residence application until after the changes, will I be assessed under the current SMC instructions?
If your Invitation to Apply was issued on the basis of a selection from the SMC Pool before the policy change, your application will be assessed under the SMC instructions that were in place at the time your EOI was selected, regardless of whether you application is submitted after the changes come into effect. The application must be received within four months of from the date your Invitation to Apply was issued.
If my EOI is in the Pool on 28 August 2017, what will happen to my EOI?
If your EOI is in the Pool on 28 August 2017 (including if your EOI has been selected and returned to the Pool) you will be able to edit and resubmit your EOI on the new EOI form, at no cost. The new form will reflect the new requirements. However, if as a result of the changes you are no longer able to claim 100 points, your EOI will not be accepted into the Pool.
When you choose to edit the EOI all the answers to the question that have changed will be deleted and you will be required to answer the new questions. If you do not edit and resubmit your EOI your EOI cannot be selected from the Pool.
Does my job need to be included in the List of skilled occupations (Appendix 6 of the INZ Operational Manual)?
No. Under the new rules, occupations at all Australia and New Zealand (ANZSCO) levels can be assessed if the relevant remuneration thresholds are met (for jobs at ANZSCO skill levels 1, 2 or 3 at least $23.49 per hour and for jobs at skill level 4 or 5 at least $35.24 per hour).
I have a qualification included on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) – can I claim extra points for this qualification?
No. Under the new rules there are no bonus points for qualifications in areas of absolute skill shortage and column 4 of the LTTSL, which included these qualifications, will be removed.
When I am granted residence will conditions be imposed on my resident visa?
Conditions will be imposed if you haven’t yet taken up your offer of skilled employment or you haven’t been in your current skilled employment for three months or more at the time we assess your application. One of those conditions will be that you continue to be paid at or above level of remuneration for which skilled employment points where awarded to you, during the period for which conditions are imposed. Conditions may be imposed for 3 or 12 months.
I have a qualification that has been assessed as being at level 3 of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Can I claim points for this qualification?
You can only claim points for your level 3 qualification if it is included on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (LQEA) and it is relevant to an occupation at ANZSCO level 3 or below. The only level 3 qualifications included on the LQEA are particular trade and technical qualifications from South Africa and the United Kingdom.