The Government has announced changes to the New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) for the next two years. The planning range for the NZRP is being lowered for the two years between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018. The range will be 85,000 to 95,000 compared with 90,000 to 100,000 for the last two years. To ensure the number of residence approvals is within the revised planning range the automatic selection mark for migrants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is being raised from 140 to 160 points. There are also changes being made to the way SMC applicants can show evidence they meet the English language requirements, which will require more people to undertake formal tests. From November 2016 Immigration New Zealand will be able to accept a wider range of English language tests. The policy is also being reviewed so that it continues to deliver maximum value for New Zealand. As well as the changes to the SMC the number of places for the capped family categories is being reduced from 5,500 to 2,000 per year and the Parent Category will be temporarily closed for new applications while it is reviewed. As a result, no Expressions of Interest will be selected from the Parent Category Pool from 12 October 2016.