New Zealand is a land that’s a considerable draw to prospective migrants – particularly those from the English-speaking world, for whom the local language is no barrier. More than ever, people are moving to New Zealand from the UK. The country regularly ranks highly in worldwide indexes on prosperity, and ranks especially highly for tolerance of immigrants and social capital.In short, there are few better places, if any, to live in the world.
So how does one become a citizen of New Zealand?One possible route is through New Zealand’s skilled migrant programme, which is designed to prioritise migrants with the potential to contribute the most to the Kiwi economy.If you’ve got the right skills, then your chances are good:but you’ll still need to demonstrate your suitability through the points-based system.Let’s consider how.
In order to be considered for permanent residence in New Zealand, you’ll need to fulfil a few criteria.Firstly, you’ll need to be fit to work – which means that you’ll not only need to be in good health, but you’ll need to be under 56, too.You’ll also need to be able to speak and read English well – though if you’re reading these words, you already meet that requirement.
One requirement that’s a little more nebulous is the ‘good character’ requirement.This relies on a check by the kiwi authorities to see if you’re likely to be a nice person.What this means in reality is that people with serious criminal records, a history of terrorism, or involvement in organised crime are excluded.Most prospective migrants, then, should get through perfectly fine.
Finally, we come to the points-based component of the test.When you’re submitting an expression of interest, you’ll need a point’s total of at least 100.While this doesn’t guarantee your success, it’ll give you a fighting chance – you’ll be competing with a pool of other prospective skilled migrants for a limited number of spaces.
What are points awarded for?
Let’s consider the easiest ways to boost your point’s total.First, calculate your base based on who you are, then add any relevant experience and qualifications, then add on all of the smaller bonus points.
Your age will award you a certain number of points to kick off with.If you’re in your twenties, you’ll be granted thirty points straight away – a total which tapers down to just five for those in their early fifties, and zero for anyone older than fifty-five.
You’ll also be awarded points for the amount of time you’ve been doing the sort of work you’re looking to do in New Zealand.If you’ve got ten years of recognised work experience or more, you’ll be granted thirty points – and slightly less for two, four, six or eight.You’ll get even more points for work experience you’ve garnered in New Zealand, still more if the experience is in an area identified as a future growth one for New Zealand, and even more than that if the area is experiencing an absolute skills shortage.
You’ll also be awarded bonus points for recognised qualifications.College-level education will get you forty points, while a doctorate will get you sixty.If you’ve completed your study in New Zealand, then you’ll be awarded even more points – and if the qualification is in a future growth or absolute skill shortage area, then you’ll be awarded still more points.
If you’ve already been offered a job, or you’re already working in New Zealand, then you’ll be awarded fifty points right off the bat – and another ten if you’ve been working there for more than twelve months.If your work is outside of Auckland, where the immigration pressure is greatest, then you’ll be awarded another thirty points.
Paths to one-hundred
So, if you’ve a decent level of education, and you’ve already been working for a year in rural New Zealand, at a job that’s been identified as a future growth area, your chances of success are very high.Since you get so many more points for work outside of Auckland, it’s worth searching harder for jobs there – even if the majority of jobs are to be found in country’s most populous region.
If you find that you can’t quite reach the required 100-points total, then you might consider an alternative path to the requirement.With the right perseverance, and the right expertise, you’ll find that New Zealand skilled visas are easier to come by than you’d think!