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New Zealand Visa's

There are several categories under which you may apply to New Zealand for immigration:

1. General Skills Category
2. Business Investor Categories
3. Family/Humanitarian/Refugee Category
4. Visitor/Work/Student and Returning Resident's Visa

General Skills Category:

The majority of all applications (approx. 32%, NZIS statistics dd. 23.02.99) are lodged under this category. In the year 1997/1998 some 12.397 applicants succeeded in obtaining permanent residency under this category.
This category is based on a point system. Points can be scored for age (min. age 18 years, max. age 55 years), qualification, work experience, qualification of spouse as well as transferable assets.
Furthermore the applicant can obtain 5 points by presenting a New Zealand job offer and 3 additional points if the applicant is being supported by any direct relatives living in New Zealand.


Minimum requirement for an application is a qualification of at least 3 years duration (apprenticeship/studies) comparable to a New Zealand base qualification. In the majority of cases it is absolutely necessary to apply for an assessment of your overseas qualification BEFORE a residence application should be lodged.
Moreover the applicant has to demonstrate a full-time work experience of at least 2 years preferably in the qualification the applicant is claiming points for.

Wide-ranging exceptions, e.g. for IT-experts, as well as for applicants holding a New Zealand job offer or a New Zealand qualification.


March 2000 Changes:
Applicants who meet all minimum requirements (see above) and score at least 5 points below the current valid pass-mark may be allowed to apply for a work-visa/permit for a period of 6 months. This work-visa/permit will be a so-called open work-visa/permit, this means there will be no restrictions. The applicant will be allowed to find permanent employment during these 6 months and the residence application will be on hold for a period of a maximum of 9 months. However, only job offers, which are of acceptable standard fulfilling ALL requirements of current valid residence policy can be converted to 5 points in the residence application. This new policy is a pretty good one, but be careful there are heaps of pitfalls and hurdles.

The pass-mark is being announced weekly by the authorities and is currently at 24 points as its absolute minimum.

The fact is that 30% of all applications under the General Skills Category are being declined as the applicant did not take any professional advice on the details of the process.

The reasons are mostly formal mistakes in administration and documentation, language barriers, lack of awareness of the present immigration laws as well as misleading or incomplete information given by authorities.

Once an application has failed, substantial personal and financial efforts are required to, if at all, obtain a positive outcome.