New Zealand Law Society - Immigration resident visa application prioritisation changes

Immigration resident visa application prioritisation changes

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From 24 February 2020 Immigration New Zealand has made changes to how it prioritises some resident visa applications.

The changes apply to the allocation of Skilled Migrant Category and Residence from Work Category applications.

INZ says it will continue to prioritise people with occupational registration and those earning twice the median wage (currently NZD$51 an hour and NZD$106,080 a year). However, applicants for Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visas will no longer be prioritised, unless they are either highly paid, or in an occupation requiring registration.

INZ says demand for applications under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work (RFW) Category has risen significantly over the past 18 months, resulting in an increase in processing times.

"This decision means the priority queue will be a smaller proportion of total applications on hand and INZ will be able to resume allocating applications from the general queue in the date order in which they were received. Allocation is when an application is given to an immigration officer to assess," it says.

"INZ acknowledges that increased wait times for allocation are an unavoidable consequence of increasing volumes of resident visa applications, but is confident that these changes will benefit more applicants.

"INZ will review its approach to resident visa allocation and processing when the Government makes further decisions on the New Zealand Residence Programme."

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