To be eligible for selection from the Expression of Interest (EOI) pool a migrant must be able to claim 160 points from the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) points system. This is a very high threshold and many of the migrants with families in NZ now find that they cannot apply for residence in NZ.
Prior to the latest changes to the immigration policy
Recently a migrant with a score of 100 points or more, with skilled employment in NZ was able to submit an EOI and be selected from the pool. Many migrants currently on work visas in NZ in the range of 40 years or older, with more than 10 years of experience in construction and building trades do not have a qualification that is recognised by INZ that would qualify for points on the Expression of Interest (EOI).
Those with industry certificates or apprenticeship certificates generally find that after an NZQA assessment the level of their certificates are less than a National Certificate level 4. How the points system works in these circumstances 40 years or older with 10 or more years’ experience, and no qualifications can claim:
• Employment – 50-60 points • Work experience – 30 points
• Age 40 to 55 years of age 20 – 5 points Maximum available points from this list is a score of 125 There are bonus points that may be claimed in certain circumstances: • Working outside of Auckland claim a further 30 bonus points
• Bonus points for NZ work experience – 5 to 15 points • Bonus points for a partners recognised qualification is 20 and/or • Partners skilled employment in NZ is 20
• If close family live in NZ a further 10 bonus points Not all Principal Applicants partners have recognised qualifications or skilled employment in NZ, or close family that are permanent residents or citizens in NZ, and the big construction contracts are mainly in Auckland therefore these bonus points are not always easy to claim.
What happens to these migrants now?
Employers often find that the migrants that have worked for more than 10 in construction or building trades have more knowledge and experience to draw on and can undertake more complex tasks than the younger migrants with technical institution qualifications but less time in the industry.
The change to the EOI points requirement (160) leaves many of these migrants with no options under the current SMC instructions. Migrants can continue applying for Essential Skills work visas for a while but there is no pathway to residency under the current SMC requirements for these migrants.
What can be done to sort out the mess?
Accredited Employer certification from INZ is now the best way an employer has to secure off shore employees and offer a pathway to residence under the ‘talent’ criteria. This requires an employer to provide relevant business information to INZ for assessment.
Once INZ is satisfied that the information from the employer meets the Accredited Employer requirements a 12 month certificate is issued to the employer. This must be renewed annually. An employer looking to secure talent from off shore as and when needed to meet construction deadlines and contractual obligations should consider the Accredited Employer option as way to continue to attract the best migrants to NZ to meet the company’s staffing needs.
Who can offer assistance with the INZ policy and requirements?
The use of an experienced Licensed Immigration Adviser is the best defence against wasting time and money trying to navigate through the INZ requirements and policy changes. Please contact Andrew Kerr – firstname.lastname@example.org of Network Migration Services in South Africa for advice.