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THE BEST VISA FOR YOU
Selecting the right visa pathway that will help you achieve immigration is key, writes Richard Howard
The pathway to your future in New Zealand will be dependent upon successfully negotiating the immigration process. However with many pathways to choose from, selecting the option that is best able to achieve your desired immigration outcome given your particular circumstances is key.
RESIDENCE PROGRAMME The New Zealand Government Residence Programme allows between 45,000 and 50,000 people to be granted residence each year. Of this number, some 60 per cent of places are reserved for skilled/business migrants and the remaining places are divided between the various family categories, with a small number set aside for international and humanitarian obligations.
Family categories New Zealand recognises the importance of families and has a number of policies that enable families to be reunited in New Zealand.
I m a g e:S h u t te r s to c k
Partnership residence To be eligible for a partnership residence visa, an applicant must have been living in a stable and genuine relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident, for a minimum of 12 months.
The partner must be an eligible sponsor and support the application and the applicant’s dependent children may also be able to be included. A couple do not have to be married and the relationship may be same sex. Applications for partners of expat New Zealanders returning home are given priority processing.
Parent residence Parent residence applications must be sponsored by an adult child who has lived in New Zealand, and who has held residence, for three years, and who satisfies the required minimum income requirements.
Parents must have no children in their home country, or they must have an equal or greater number of adult children who are permanently living in New Zealand than in any other country (called the Centre of Gravity test).
There are no age limits under the parent categories
Parent retirement For parents who are financially able, the Parent Retirement residence category can be considered, and there are no age limits.
Parents who can provide evidence of assets of NZ$1.5 million (£773,051) and can transfer and invest NZ$1 million (£515,226) in New Zealand for four years, and who can show annual income of NZ$60,000 (£30,913), can consider this residence option.
Such parents must still be able to satisfy the requirements for the Centre of Gravity test, but the sponsoring child is
You could be eligible for residence If your partner is a New Zealand citizen not required to have held residence and lived in New Zealand for three years.
Sibling and adult child residence This is sometimes referred to as “last remaining family member”). An applicant must be the only member of their family permanently living in their country of residence and be less than 56 years old.
Such applicants must be sponsored by a parent or adult sibling who has lived in New Zealand as a resident for three years and they must also have an offer of employment in New Zealand. Parent and sibling/adult child residence applications are can take 18-24 months to process.
SKILLED MIGRANTS The purpose of these skills-based categories is to deliver the skills and resources New Zealand needs to support its economic development by actively targeting those migrants with the requisite skills to benefit the country.
Skilled Migrant Category The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is the predominant residence pathway and requires applicants to score points under a range of criteria. Those with the highest points score, given particular selection criteria, are most likely to be