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Migration Trends & Outlook 2008/09

APPENDIX C: DESCRIPTION OF TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT RESIDENCE CATEGORIES

This appendix describes the key features of the temporary and permanent residence categories. For a comprehensive outline of the specific requirements, see the Immigration New Zealand website: www.immigration.govt.nz.

 

C1 Temporary categories
Visitor Policy

The aim of the Visitor Policy is to facilitate the entry of genuine visitors (that is, people who will not work illegally, commit crime, or overstay their permits) to benefit New Zealand's economy.

The nationals of 55 countries do not need to apply for a visa before travelling to New Zealand, so are granted a permit on their arrival as long as they:

• have sufficient funds to cover their stay

• have an outward ticket to a destination that will accept them and that means they intend to stay in New Zealand for 3 months or less (6 months if they are citizens of the United Kingdom)

• do not represent a character risk to New Zealand.

Australian nationals are treated as New Zealanders (unless they have criminal convictions), and Australian permanent residents are treated as New Zealand permanent residents. Other nationals must apply in advance, demonstrate they meet the tests, and obtain a visa to travel to New Zealand.

Student Policy

The aim of the Student Policy is to facilitate the entry into New Zealand of foreign students, with a focus on attracting and developing students who have the skills and talent New Zealand needs. International students help to develop international linkages (including through exchange schemes) and sustain economic development through foreign exchange earnings. A non-New Zealand citizen or resident requires a student permit to attend a course of more than 3 months' duration.

Work Policy

The aim of the Work Policy is to contribute to building New Zealand's human capability base. This is done by facilitating the access of New Zealand employers and New Zealand industry to global skills and knowledge, while complementing the Government's education and employment policies. Work permits allow employers to recruit temporary workers from overseas to meet particular or seasonal work shortages that cannot be met from within New Zealand, while protecting employment opportunities and conditions for New Zealand workers.

A wide variety of people may be granted open work permits, usually with conditions relating to the amount of time they can work. They include:

  • people on Working Holiday Schemes
  • students who have completed a degree (for up to 2 years) or who are undertaking long-term study, so are allowed to work part time
  • Refugee Status applicants who have been granted a work permit while their application is being determined
  • spouses and partners of a principal applicant (who are entitled to a work permit).
Work to Residence policies

Work to Residence policies are temporary work policies that provide a pathway to residence for temporary migrants. These temporary work categories each have a corresponding residence category through which the work permit holder may apply if certain conditions are met. The current Work to Residence policies are the:

  • Long Term Business Policy
  • Talent (Accredited Employers) Work Policy
  • Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) Work Policy
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List
  • Skilled Migrant Work to Residence Policy.

Source: Department of Labour

C2 New Zealand Residence Programme

In planning the desired level of immigration, the Government approves an annual immigration programme (the New Zealand Residence Programme, or NZRP), which places an upper limit on the number of people who may be approved for residence in a financial year. The importance of stability in immigration flows is one factor taken into account when setting the NZRP levels. Tables C2, C3, and C4 describe the NZRP categories.

C2.1 General rules

The principal applicant must meet the policy of the relevant category and, where applicable, they may include their spouse or partner and dependent children in their application. Everyone included in an application must pass a health check, pass a character (police clearance) check (if they are 17 years or older), and, where necessary, meet English-language requirements.

Everyone intending to stay in New Zealand for longer than 12 months (and who is not a New Zealand or Australian citizen or permanent resident) must undergo medical screening to ensure they have an 'acceptable standard of health' for immigration purposes. This includes screening for tuberculosis. Since November 2005, the definition of an 'acceptable standard of health' has been based on significant costs and demand thresholds for publicly funded health and special education services.

Table C2 Key policy features of the Skilled/Business Stream

Category

Key policy features

Skilled Migrant Category

Applicants must meet a minimum threshold of 100 points to register an expression of interest into a pool. Expressions of interest are selected from the pool based on a selection point and on the basis of other criteria set by the Minister of Immigration. After initial verification, applicants are invited to apply through the Skilled Migrant Category.

General Skills Category

This category was closed on 12 November 2003.

Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur Category was established for people who can demonstrate they have successfully set up and operated a business in New Zealand. Applicants first enter New Zealand on a long-term business visa (under a Work to Residence policy).

Investor Category

The Investor Category was closed on 26 November 2007 and replaced by the Active Investor Migrant Policy.

Active Investor Migrant Policy

This category was closed on 27 July 2009 and replaced by the Migrant Investor Policy.

The Active Investor Migrant Policy is segmented into three subcategories on the basis of the migrant's potential contribution and the assessed level of risk:

  • Global Investor Category: The highest priority category for high-value investors investing $20 million (including at least $5 million in active investment) in New Zealand.
  • Professional Investor Category: The second priority category for migrants investing $10 million (including at least $2 million in active investment) in New Zealand.
  • General (Active) Investor Category: A category for people investing a minimum of $2.5 million in New Zealand.

Applicants are selected through a points system.

Migrant Investor Policy

The Migrant Investor Policy replaces the Active Investor Migrant Policy and is effective from 27 July 2009. The Migrant Investment Policy aims to attract financial capital to local firms or government by providing residence to people who wish to make a significant financial contribution to New Zealand's economy.

The policy is divided into two categories: Investor Plus (Investor 1 Category), and Investor (Investor 2 Category).

Employees of Relocating Businesses

The Employees of Relocating Businesses Category was established for key people in a business relocating to New Zealand who do not qualify for residence under any other residence category. There is a 2-year employment period before the residence permit is endorsed.

Residence from Work Category

The Residence from Work Category is for people who are already in New Zealand on a work to residence permit for at least 2 years and want to apply for residence through the relevant work policy: The Talent (Accredited Employers) Work Policy; Long Term Skill Shortage List; Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) Work Policy.

Source: Department of Labour

Table C3 Key policy features of the Uncapped Family Sponsored and Parent Sibling Adult Child streams

Policy

Key policy features

Partnership

The Partnership Category enables the partner (including the spouse, de facto, or same-sex partner) of a New Zealand citizen or resident to apply for residence. Applicants must provide evidence that they have been living in a partnership that is genuine and stable for 12 months or more.

Parent

The Parent Category enables the parent(s) of a New Zealand citizen or resident to apply for residence if they have no dependent children and:

  • all of their children live outside of the parent's home country, or
  • the centre of gravity of their family is in New Zealand.

The applicant's child must be an eligible sponsor.

Sibling

The Sibling Category enables siblings of New Zealand citizens or residents to gain residence. Applicants must:

  • have no immediate family in their home country
  • have an acceptable offer of employment in New Zealand
  • be able to financially support any dependants
  • have an eligible sponsor.

From August 2006, the age limit for people applying through this category is 55 years.

Dependent Child

The Dependent Child Category enables dependent children of parents with New Zealand residence to gain residence. The applicant must have:

  • been born or adopted before his or her parents applied for residence and have been declared on his or her parents' application for residence, or
  • been born after his or her parents applied for residence, or
  • been adopted by his or her parents as a result of a New Zealand adoption or an overseas adoption recognised under New Zealand law.

Adult Child

The Adult Child Category enables the adult children of New Zealand citizens or residents to gain residence. Applicants must:

  • have no immediate family in their home country
  • have an acceptable offer of employment in New Zealand
  • be able to financially support any dependants
  • have an eligible sponsor.

From August 2006, the age limit for people applying through this policy is 55 years.

Humanitarian

The Humanitarian Category is now closed.

This category allowed people to enter New Zealand when serious humanitarian circumstances existed and there was a close family connection with New Zealand.

Source: Department of Labour

Table C4 Key policy features of the International/Humanitarian Stream

Category

Key policy features

Refugee Quota programme

Under the Refugee Quota programme, New Zealand provides assistance to quota refugees (people determined to be refugees by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) before their arrival in New Zealand). The Government sets the number of places available for quota refugees under the Refugee Quota programme (currently 750 people per year).

Refugee Family Support (July 2007)

The Refugee Family Support Category was formerly called the Refugee Family Quota. It allows some people who were granted residence as refugees to sponsor family members for residence in New Zealand. From July 2007, a two-tier registration system has been established. Sponsors who meet tier one criteria have first access to available places and are queued. If places are not filled by those in tier one, registrations are called for from those who meet tier two criteria, and are balloted to fill the remaining places. Each year, 300 places are available.

Samoan Quota

The Samoan Quota allows up to 1,100 Samoan citizens, including partners and dependent children, to be granted residence in New Zealand each year. Applicants must have an acceptable offer of employment, be aged 18-45, and meet minimum income requirements if they have dependants. Places in this quota are balloted.

Special Samoan Quota Places Policy (effective from 8 December 2008)

The Special Samoan Quota Places Policy allows for Samoan citizens who made an application for residence under the Residual Samoan Quota Places Policy to be granted residence if that application had not been decided by 7 December 2008.

Pacific Access Category (PAC)

The PAC allows up to 250 citizens of Tonga, 75 citizens of Tuvalu, and 75 citizens of Kiribati (including the spouses, de facto partners, and dependent children of principal applicants) to be granted residence in New Zealand each year. Applicants must have an acceptable offer of employment, be aged 18-45 years, and meet minimum income requirements if they have dependants. The available places in this category are electronically randomly drawn from the pool of registrations by Immigration New Zealand. Fiji citizens were suspended from registering in the PAC pool since 2 April 2007.

Special Pacific Access Category Places Policy (effective from 8 December 2008)

The Special Pacific Access Category Places Policy allows for citizens of Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, or Fiji who made an application for residence under the Residual PAC Places Policy to be granted residence if that application had not been decided by 7 December 2008.

Ministerial direction

In special circumstances, the Minister of Immigration (or delegate) may give any immigration officer a special direction in relation to any person, permit, visa, or document. No person has the right to apply for a special direction, and the Minister is not obliged to consider the application or give reasons for any decision on it, other than that sections 7(4) and 130(6)(b)(i) of the Immigration Act 1987 apply.

Section 35A

In special circumstances, a person unlawfully in New Zealand may be granted a permit as a special case under section 35A of the Immigration Act 1987. No person has the right to apply for a permit if they are unlawfully in New Zealand, and neither the Department of Labour nor the Minister of Immigration is required to consider any request made.

Residence policy for victims of domestic violence

A person may be granted residence under the Victims of Domestic Violence Policy if they have, or have had, a marriage or relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident that has ended due to domestic violence by the New Zealand citizen or resident, and the person is unable to return to their home country because they would be disowned by their family and community as a result of their relationship, and would have no means of independent support.

Special Zimbabwe Residence Policy (closed 28 February 2007)

The Special Zimbabwe Residence Policy allows Zimbabwe nationals who arrived in New Zealand on or before 23 September 2004, and who do not meet the requirements for approval under any other residence category, to be granted residence. The closing date for applications under this policy was 28 February 2007.

Source: Department of Labour