South Island Residence Pathway

Immigration policy changes – a new way to residence for South Island workers

On Wednesday 19 April, 2017, the Immigration Minister announced changes to New Zealand’s immigration policies. One of these changes is to create a pathway to residence for people who have worked in the South Island for five years.

Who does it affect?

This is great news for migrants who may have been working here for some years, but do not have a job that is classified as being “skilled”

This is because having a “skilled” job is the only way for many people to get residence, unless they are able to get a job with an accredited employer or enter a genuine relationship with a New Zealander.

Many migrants in the aged sector, working as care givers, have been unable to obtain residence.  They may now be able to qualify.   Migrants working in hospitality jobs, or in lower-skilled manufacturing jobs may also be eligible.

When does it come into effect?

22 May 2017

What are the requirements?

The finer details have yet to be published, but we understand that the four main requirements will be as follows:

  1. Must have spent five years, in the South Island, with an essential skills work visa.
  2. Some time working in the North Island may be acceptable, if it was because of the nature of their employment.  We do not yet know the details.
  3. Must have a current essential skills work visa and a good employer
    The applicant must have an essential skills work visa at the time of the application.  Also, his or her employer must not have a bad record, with Immigration New Zealand or the Labour Inspectorate.
  4. Must be aged 55 years or younger.
  5. Must meet health and character requirements.
    If the applicant has any medical conditions that are likely to impose significant costs on New Zealand’s health system or any criminal convictions, he or she may not be eligible.

How will it work?

The applicants must submit a paper application.  The application fee is likely to be about $413.

A successful applicant will then be given a visa that is valid for 30 months.

After 24 months, during which the applicant will be required to work in the South Island, he or she can apply for residence.  The application fee, at that stage, is likely to be $1550.

Can families be included?

Yes.  An applicant can include his spouse or unmarried partner, if the couple can prove that they are living together in a genuine and stable relationship.  The applicant can also include dependent children, aged 19 and under.  The family members must meet the health and character requirements.

If you have any queries or think you would like to start preparing an application, please contact ImmigrateMe.

Many migrants are looking for opportunities to upskill and obtain education at secondary or tertiary level. New Zealand is recognised internationally as a provider of world class qualifications and holders of degrees obtained in New Zealand are well regarded by employers the world over.

Short courses do not normally require the student to hold a Student Visa, however most courses longer than 3 months will require that a Student Visa be obtained and held for the duration of that study.

Prior to applying for a Student Visa, the applicant must have an offer from an education provider in New Zealand for an approved course that meets the requirements of New Zealand immigration policy. Additionally all course fees that are required must be paid prior to the application, or proof of exemption provided with the application.

Holders of New Zealand Student Visa’s must also meet and continue to meet all health and character requirements.

Once obtained a Student Visa will allow you to remain in the country for the duration of the course. In some instances where a course has a duration of more than 1 year, the visa holder may be eligible to apply for part time work of up to 20 hours per week.

  1. Investor 2 Resident Visa

Requirements include that the applicant:

  • Have NZD$1,500,000.00 in cash and assets available to invest in acceptable investments in New Zealand for a period of at least 4 years;
  • Have NZD$1,000,000.00 in settlement funds to support yourself (and family) on top of the investment funds;
  • Be under 65 years of age;
  • Speak English (including any family included in the visa application);
  • Have a minimum of 3 years recognised business experience;
  • Be able to prove that their finances were lawfully obtained;
  • Be able to prove their identity to the satisfaction of INZ;
  • Comply with travel restrictions for the duration of the visa; and
  • Meet minimum health and character requirements, and be a fit and proper person.

Both visa types allow family to be included but they must meet minimum health and character requirements. Both visa types have minimum requirements in respect of time spent in New Zealand during the duration of the visa.

There is no limit to the number of applications for an Investor 1 Resident Visa, but Investor 2 Resident Visa applications are limited to 300 per year.

Ready to take the next step?

Complete our simple form to assess your eligibility and one of our highly trained consultants will be in touch ASAP to help you navigate you through the legal process and help build your new future.