06 Nov Review on the New Residency Rules
INZ Statistics show nearly 50% drop in the number of the skilled migrants applying for residency in the last six months. Undoubtedly, the selection threshold of 160 points was the catalyst for the dramatic reduction. The former Minister of Immigration believed the new selection threshold might drop the numbers by 5%. No doubt the former Minister of Immigration couldn’t see this coming when he tightened the rule even further with the income threshold of $23.50.
By the end of the financial year, it is projected that there will be a shortfall of around 20,000 less than the annual residence forecast of 45,000.
Looking at the bright side, however, it is worthwhile noting some positive changes for the skilled migrants to qualify for residency. This article examines the first of those.
Historically, there had been a running battle between INZ and the migrants as to the fine line distinctions between those jobs at skill level 2 and the less skilled jobs at skill level 3. INZ found a number of migrants not qualified as their jobs turned out to be a less skilled job which belonged to Part C of the “Skilled Occupation List (OCL).” Eventually, many of those unhappy migrants ended up appealing the decisions to Immigration Protection Tribunal, causing time and money.
The new rule scrapped the OCL and the associated visa instructions. Now, all Part C occupations at skill level 3 or above are treated equally as those at skill level 1 and 2. The following examples demonstrate the significance of the change.
Cooks vs Chefs
Many migrants ditched their career path when migrated to New Zealand and became chefs only to see INZ not acknowledging their jobs as they didn’t involve planning menu or calculating food costs. Under the new rule, such a distinction is no longer necessary.
Bookkeepers vs Accountants
INZ often erred on the side of literally and soullessly applying the ANZSCO description and concluded that the accountants were more like bookkeepers because the jobs lacked the advisory functions and were mainly responsible for maintaining and evaluating the financial transactions. Again, this distinction has become no longer relevant under the new skilled migrant policy.
Call centre team leaders vs Customer service managers
INZ also seems to have struggled with its perception of customer service managers when evaluating the evidence of planning and reviewing the customer service strategies and policies. Again, the distinction has become a moot point.
In my next article, I will attempt to demonstrate how the new skilled migrant policies were designed to attract more skilled and experienced migrants rather than the recent graduates with limited skillset and experience.