Skilled Migrant category – just what is happening?

Selections of Expressions of Interest (EOI) out of the pool remain suspended. The government said the suspension will be reviewed in 2021 and their April deadline is looming. There are now over 6,700 EOIs in the pool. On average each EOI represents 2.5 people so around 17,000 people are on hold.

The majority who submitted an EOI are working in New Zealand, paying tax, children at school and contributing to our community in so many positive ways. Many are frustrated by the continued delays of EOI selections because they cannot buy homes, get children into tertiary education, and just get on with life without the worry of whether they will be allowed to stay.

People applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant categories who are paid twice the median wage (currently NZD $51 per hour or an annual salary of NZD $106,080) or work in an occupation requiring registration (teachers, nurses, plumbers etc.) can expect their applications will land on an Immigration Officer’s desk for assessment within one or two weeks from date of lodgment.

Those paid less are among the 13,400 or so applications sitting in a queue. At the time of going to press Immigration NZ are allocating applications lodged in late July 2019 for assessment.

The Minister of Immigration has been quoted in media today stating the Skilled Migrant category (points system) will be reviewed later this year. We hope in the meantime selections will out of the pool resume while this review is underway. We wrote to the Minister last year with helpful recommendations to end the EOI delays and will keep up this messaging in 2021.

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