NZ Immigration Programme to attract talent 4/4

Lianne Dalziel Immigration

Immigration Facts

4.   Temporary to Permanent Migration

Fifty-three percent of applications approved for residence in 2000/01 had
previously held a student, work or visitor permit at some stage since July 1997.

Residence Policy

People wishing to migrate to New Zealand may gain residence under one of the
categories listed in the table below. Residence applications are considered on
the basis of whether the 'Principal Applicant' meets the policy criteria. The
Principal Applicant may include their partner and dependent children in their
application. All applicants must meet standard health and character

Category Explanation
A points system linked to a
quarterly passmark. To be approved, applicants must gain points for
qualifications. Where a person has a job offer, points can be awarded for work
experience that has had no relevance to the applicant's qualifications. Where an
applicant does not have a job offer, work experience must be relevant to the
applicant's qualifications to gain points. The registration requirement remains
for certain professions (e.g. doctors, nurses, teachers). Principal Applicants
must be aged between 18 and 55 and meet a minimum standard of English to ensure
their English language ability is sufficient to assist them to settle in New
Zealand. From 1 March 2000, General Skills category applicants who meet the
category requirements in every respect, but need a job offer to reach the
passmark, have been allowed to enter New Zealand on a sixmonth Work Permit to
search for a job, and start work, pending approval of their residence
Investor This is also a passmark
points system, based on age (25-84), business experience, and investment
capital. It replaced the Business Investor Category from 29 March 1999. Minimum
requirements include an investment of NZ$1,000,000 in New
Entrepreneur Linked to the Long Term
Business Visa, this category provides the opportunity of residence for people
who have successfully established a business in New Zealand. (The Long Term
Business Visa is a multiple-entry Work Visa valid for up to three years, and
renewable after that. It is intended for people interested in establishing a
business in New Zealand but who may not want to live in New Zealand permanently,
and for those who might later apply for residence under the Entrepreneur
Employees of relocated
businesses who do not qualify under other categories can be granted residence on
a case-by-case basis.
Family This category provides an
opportunity for people to live in New Zealand if they are married to, or in a de
facto or same-sex relationship, with a New Zealander, and, in some cases, for
the parents, children, and adult siblings of New Zealanders.
Up to 1100 Samoan citizens
who have a job offer in New Zealand and who are aged between 18-45 years, may be
granted residence each year. From 11 March 1998 applications under this category
have been restricted to Samoan citizens born in Samoa, or the children of Samoan
citizens born in Samoa.
Refugee Up to 750 refugees (nominated
by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) may resettle in New
Zealand in the 1998/99 Financial Year.

Some Residence Requirements Explained

English Language Requirement

Principal Applicants under the General Skills category must meet a specified
standard of English to be granted residence. However, from 30 November 1998, the
pre-purchase of English Language tuition was introduced as a way for
Non-Principal Applicants under the General Skills category, and both Principal
and Non-Principal Applicants under the Business categories, to meet the English
language requirement. The $20,000 English Language Bond was abolished. The
English language requirement for Non-Principal Applicants applies only to those
aged 16 and over.

Centre of Gravity Principle

Parents of New Zealand citizens or residents meet Parent policy criteria if a
family's centre of gravity is in New Zealand.
Centre of gravity applies

  • the principal applicant parent has no dependent children and the number of
    their adult children resident in New Zealand is equal or greater to those
    lawfully and permanently in any other single country; or

  • the principal applicant has dependent children and the number of their adult
    children resident in New Zealand is equal or greater to those lawfully and
    permanently in any other single country and the number of dependent children is
    equal or fewer than the number of their adult children who are resident in New

Alone in Home Country

Parents also qualify for residence if they are alone in their home country.
This means that they have no dependent children and all of their adult children
are lawfully and permanently outside the country which is the parent's home