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Thread: Few questions about our Skilled Migrant application

  1. #1
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    Default Few questions about our Skilled Migrant application

    Hi,

    I would like to ask few questions about Skilled Migrant Visa:

    1. Does passport has to be valid for at least 14 months from the day of applying for SMV? Thatís what Iíve heard.
    2. Iíd like to claim close family points. Do my (actually my partners cause shes the main applicant) family members have to be NZ residents or they can be on work visa?
    3. Do I have to send my passport to Immigration office? Iíve heard that processing time can take up to 9 months. If so I wouldnít be able to leave the country for the whole time?
    4. Iíve heard that to apply I have to be already on temporary visa in NZ. My girlfriend has now Essential Skills Visa and I have Partnership Work Visa both valid till July. If we apply for SMV letís say in March and processing will take more than till July and we will not be granted another visas in the meantime then we will be automatically denied SMV?
    5. In the points indicator there is an option ďI have work experience that is relevant to my skilled employmentĒ and you can choose 4 years or 6 years. My girlfriend who is the main applicant have more than 5. Immigration officer told me on the phone that if itís less than 5 then I should choose 4 if itís more than 5 then 6 years but he seemed not sure. Is that correct way to calculate the points?
    6. The same thing with New Zealand work experience where I can choose 1 year, not less. He said if itís more than 6 months then I can choose 1 year if not then it doesnít count.
    7. My girlfriend includes me in her application even though we are not yet living together for 12 months (since May 2016) and we are aware she cannot claim points for my qualification. I found thread on the forum where someone posted something about rule R2.1.15.5 from Operational Manual. According to that rule if my girlfriend would be granted residency letís say in April then as soon as we reach 12 months of living together in May Iím gonna be granted residency too? Is that right?
    8. Since my points would not be taken into consideration because we are not living together long enough (but I will still be put in the application) do I still need to take IELTS exam and provide results?

    Thank you very much for your help

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinang View Post
    1. Does passport has to be valid for at least 14 months from the day of applying for SMV? That’s what I’ve heard.
    No. If someone's passport needs to be renewed, even, during processing, that is no problem - they just have to supply the new passport details when it has arrived.
    2. I’d like to claim close family points. Do my (actually my partners cause shes the main applicant) family members have to be NZ residents or they can be on work visa?
    Here http://onlineservices.immigration.go...anual/6954.htm are all the detailed regulations about claiming points. I suggest you need to read all these sections very carefully - it will set your mind at rest on all sorts of questions. In this case, see SM20.20.
    3. Do I have to send my passport to Immigration office? I’ve heard that processing time can take up to 9 months. If so I wouldn’t be able to leave the country for the whole time?
    If you send in your passport, you can ask for it to be returned straight away so you can travel if you need to. You would then need to send it back in again to get the visa label stuck in if you are granted Residence. By the way, processing at the moment is often taking more than 9 months. Think it will be a year, and you might get a pleasant surprise if it is sooner.
    4. I’ve heard that to apply I have to be already on temporary visa in NZ. My girlfriend has now Essential Skills Visa and I have Partnership Work Visa both valid till July. If we apply for SMV let’s say in March and processing will take more than till July and we will not be granted another visas in the meantime then we will be automatically denied SMV?
    Absolutely. You would both have to apply to renew your present visas.
    5. In the points indicator there is an option “I have work experience that is relevant to my skilled employment” and you can choose 4 years or 6 years. My girlfriend who is the main applicant have more than 5. Immigration officer told me on the phone that if it’s less than 5 then I should choose 4 if it’s more than 5 then 6 years but he seemed not sure. Is that correct way to calculate the points?
    INZ don't accept things that haven't happened yet. You can't claim for things that you think WILL be, for instance, 6 years' work experience when you have actually only worked 5 3/4 years. You may have the firm intention of finishing out the sixth year, but things may happen to prevent it, such as the company closing down so you don't have a job any more, or you having an accident so you are in hospital for a long time.
    6. The same thing with New Zealand work experience where I can choose 1 year, not less. He said if it’s more than 6 months then I can choose 1 year if not then it doesn’t count.
    Ditto.
    7. My girlfriend includes me in her application even though we are not yet living together for 12 months (since May 2016) and we are aware she cannot claim points for my qualification. I found thread on the forum where someone posted something about rule R2.1.15.5 from Operational Manual. According to that rule if my girlfriend would be granted residency let’s say in April then as soon as we reach 12 months of living together in May I’m gonna be granted residency too? Is that right?
    This is a grey area. If you look at ALL of R2.1.15 http://onlineservices.immigration.go...nual/46504.htm, you will see that the CO has to be satisfied that the couple have a genuine and stable partnership. 12 months' evidence is required for the grant of Residence, and ideally, people should be within about two or three months of that before even submitting their application, so that while their case is being looked at, they are finishing out the time requirement and still collecting partnership evidence that they can send in when required. But IF the CO thinks the partnership is proved but isn't long enough by the time the main appliant's case is approved, s/he can offer the partner a work visa. HOWEVER, notice R2.1.15.5 i - if the main applicant's case needs something from the partner, and the couple don't have 12 months' evidence, the application would be refused.
    8. Since my points would not be taken into consideration because we are not living together long enough (but I will still be put in the application) do I still need to take IELTS exam and provide results?
    See SM5.10 - the secondary applicant has to prove English ability, but not to the same standard as the main applicant.
    [/QUOTE]

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot for the answers!

    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post

    Absolutely. You would both have to apply to renew your present visas.
    [/QUOTE]

    Yes, we would apply but I was wondering if processing for example goes beyond expected time and our temporary visa applications will be refused. Then it would just be waste of thousands of dollars? Or having SMV application lodged helps with getting essential skills for the time of the waiting? If no, do you think we should just wait and first apply for new essential skills before July and then skilled migrant after?



    I've also sent a question about the R2.1.15 to newimmigrantinfo@mbie.govt.nz and got a response that the rule clearly states that the processing of the whole application would start when 12 months will already pass meaning that the application will be just lying on the immigration office desk untouched for few months until May? That got me totally confused. But they also said that this email is not for questions about visas so maybe they just don't know enough about it.

  4. #4
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    If you getting into 'wondering if', you're going to worry yourselves silly. Do you have any reason to think your work visas would be refused this time round, like some huge change in circumstances for you or for your employer(s)? Anyway, your decision - you could do it either way.

    As to the other matter, you're thinking about applying for a visa that requires 12 months' evidence of living together, before you've got 12 months' evidence of living together. I understand that you're impatient to have it sorted. However, don't be surprised if INZ (an NZ government department, working with NZ law) tells you that they insist you actually meet the requirements before they will do anything for you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    If you getting into 'wondering if', you're going to worry yourselves silly. Do you have any reason to think your work visas would be refused this time round, like some huge change in circumstances for you or for your employer(s)? Anyway, your decision - you could do it either way.
    I just heard it's hard to get Essential Skills for the second time and same employer cause immigration will ask employer why during that year they didn't find a NZ citizen/resident for the job. At least that's what I read somewhere. So I thought maybe it's safer (financially) to just apply for Essential Skills first as we would probably have to do it anyway since processing time for skilled migrant is 9 months.



    So if they would offer me a work visa will it be changed to residency once we reach 12 months or I'd have to apply again for residency as a partner of a resident?

  6. #6
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    If you have applied under SMC on the basis of your present job, and your ITA has been issued and/or lodged, then INZ do NOT require a labour-market test. SM2.5.15 here. http://onlineservices.immigration.go...nual/45676.htm

    So your girlfriend would get her renewed Essential Skills with no labour market test if she had already applied for Residence under SMC. Your visa depends on hers, so you should be able to renew without problem, too (subject to more proof of continuing to live together).

    Your last question - that's one for INZ at the time, and they won't say in advance. Nobody can. If your girlfriend's application is assessed before you have your 12 months' partnership evidence, then the R2.1.15.5 section makes it clear that the CO has various options, and which s/he will choose depends on assessment of the circumstances at the time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    If you have applied under SMC on the basis of your present job, and your ITA has been issued and/or lodged, then INZ do NOT require a labour-market test. SM2.5.15 here. http://onlineservices.immigration.go...nual/45676.htm

    So your girlfriend would get her renewed Essential Skills with no labour market test if she had already applied for Residence under SMC. Your visa depends on hers, so you should be able to renew without problem, too (subject to more proof of continuing to live together).

    That's what I wanted to hear. That will be helpful.


    I just called immigration today and Immigration Officer told me that to claim close family points, the family member doesn't need to be a resident, he just have to prove that he lives in New Zealand and this is where he's actual residence is based. But from what I read in the operational manual family member needs to be either citizen or have resident class visa...


    I asked him also about IELTS test and he confirmed that we both have to pass IELTS or one of the other tests listed on the website (I couldn't find any other though). But in points indicator on the website it says:

    If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask for evidence that one of the following applies to your partner, they:

    have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificate score of 6.5 or more in the General or Academic module
    have a recognised qualification that was taught in English. If they got that qualification in New Zealand, it'll need to have involved at least 2 years' study and be at least a bachelor degree.
    have current skilled employment in New Zealand of 12 months or more
    are a competent user of English.
    When we assess if they're a competent user of English, we'll look at any evidence and circumstances you provide with your application. For example:

    the country your partner lives in now
    any countries your partner has lived in before
    if your partner speaks any language other than English
    if your partner's family speak English
    if your partner's family speak any language other than English
    if your partner has to speak English for their work either now or in the past
    any qualifications your partner has and if they needed to be able to speak English to get those qualifications.


    So do I really need IELTS and the website is outdated?



    I also asked about PAR and IQA. He said we can just do IQA after we get invitation and no need to do PAR. But then again points indicator on the website says we need to have one of those before lodging EOI. So which one is true? PAR seems like a document with no value whatsoever, cause from what I've read you just pay over 100 dollars and don't even submit any documents just a form saying that you have this or that degree.

  8. #8
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    http://onlineservices.immigration.go...nual/30869.htm

    SM20.5 Close family in New Zealand

    A principal applicant qualifies for 10 points for a close family member in New Zealand if that close family member:
    is the adult sibling or adult child, or parent, of a principal applicant, or of the principal applicant's partner included in the application; and
    is in New Zealand; and
    is a New Zealand or Australian citizen or the holder, or is considered to be the holder, of a residence class visa that is not subject to conditions under sections 49 or 50 of the Immigration Act 2009.
    In all cases, an immigration officer must be satisfied that New Zealand is the primary place of established residence of the close family member at the time the application under the Skilled Migrant Category is made.

    Note: A principal applicant will only qualify for points for a close family member of their partner included in their application, if an immigration officer is satisfied that the principal applicant and their partner have been living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see F2.10.1) and otherwise meets Partnership instructions (see F2.15).
    English Language. See here https://www.immigration.govt.nz/abou...anges/nzrp-smc for the changes that WILL BE in operation from 21 November 2016. The INZ website is correct at the moment, since it will not be updated to give the new information until the date when it comes into action. What anyone has to do depends on when their application will be lodged.

    Yes, the EOI requires one or the other of PAR or IQA. As you have seen for yourself, PAR is a waste of time and money. So that leaves IQA, which you will need in any case for ITA.

  9. #9
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    Well, it becomes more and more expensive affair. And with less chance of success. I forgot that they accept only 160 or above at the moment so there's no point in applying now anyway. Applying few months ago would be so much easier and cheaper...

    And I actually was hoping few weeks ago that assesing qualification would be free/cheap and pretty fast but it turns out IQA alone is more than 700 NZD. That means we have to pay around 1500 just for NZQA to say our qualification from top schools in our countries (that mysteriously didn't make a list of hundreds of unknown schools recognised from our countries) is valid.... I'm starting to seriously doubt the whole process is worth the expense and the hassle. My partner is pretty determined though so probably we will still go for it...

    Is IQA valid indefinitely?

    We are thinking of sending EOI soon if they will start inviting people with less points again but if we would be unsuccessful can we apply with another EOI few months after that when we would have more than 160 already? And can we use the same IQA or we would have to pay again?

  10. #10
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    NZQA to say our qualification from top schools in our countries (that mysteriously didn't make a list of hundreds of unknown schools recognised from our countries) is valid
    You are mistaking the role of NZQA. Its job is to state what NZ Level a foreign qualification is at, and also, what, if any, NZ qualification the foreign one is comparable to. It does not make judgements on the foreign institution that provided the qualification.

    NZQA, for an IQA, look at the course to see what content was studied, to what depth, and for how long. This gives the NZ Level. They then compare that with courses currently running at the time in NZ, to see if they can state that the foreign qualification is "comparable to", say, "a bachelor's degree in (whatever subject)," which can only be stated IF there is one with a similar course at that time. That is why it sometimes happens that a qualification which used to be on the exemption list (a QUALIFICATION, notice, not an institution) is later removed, if the NZ institution which used to teach the comparable course then discontinues it.

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