Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Australia
Reload this Page >

NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Old Aug 29th 2002, 2:17 am
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 207
jseni01d is an unknown quantity at this point
Default NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

The NZIS released a briefing on their website, basically telling the new Immigration Minister where they stand and what they think needs to be done from now on. Among the more noteworthy points:

"Recently, the highest demand for immigration has been in
the General Skills Category. While raising the General
Skills Category passmark to 28 points from 18 June 2002
was intended to reduce the backlog to around 12,000 over
the next two years, early indications are that this has not
had the desired effect.
The five-day notice period for the
passmark change saw 3369 skilled/business residence
applications received, compared to 543 in an average week.
Weekly application levels are now similar to those at the
same time last year, particularly in the Europe/Africa/
Americas market."

"A review of the General Skills Category passmark
occurs each month, and the Department provides
advice if a change is recommended. Given current
inflows, it is possible a decision may be required on
whether to increase the passmark from 1 September 2002.
"

"The current low level of the English-language prerequisite
for the General Skills Category, Investor Category and
Entrepreneur Category (and the lack of any English-language
prerequisite in the Long-Term Business Visa
Category) is therefore an issue. New ZealandÕs current
language standard is set at an inadequate level for a skilled
migrant. As noted below, a decision needs to be made in
the short to medium term on whether to temporarily
increase the skills stream's English prerequisite
while public
consultation is carried out on the appropriate standard."

"...would face-to-face interviewing improve
outcomes, or would making a job offer mandatory be a
simpler way to improve outcomes?"

So, expect the passmark to go up very soon, and various other tightening of regulations. Personally, I'm planning to apply in a couple of years, without a job offer, by which time hopefully they'll have the backlog down to reasonable levels and might open things up again. Based on the tone of this briefing, though, I may have to seriously consider getting to NZ via Australia, unless they close that avenue off too. All in all, pretty depressing reading for prospective applicants. The only bright spot from a purely personal view is the bit about English. Requiring greater English ability would obviously put UK applicants at an advantage.

John Senior,
Tokyo
jseni01d is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 4:07 am
  #2  
Don
Banned
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 7,613
Don is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

John,

That document (Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Immigration on www.immigration.govt.nz) is a 'must read' for prospective applicants.

I didn't get such a 'gloomy' feel as you, the document never really starts talking about reducing the numbers of immigrants under current policy - indeed, whilst acknowledging the 'backlog' problem and the high numbers applying for residence, it reinforces the need to sustain quite high numbers of net immigrants into NZ to boost GDP. But the document says more on how immigrant 'outcomes' (ie successful integration of immigrants amd their quick employment etc) can/should be improved. So this might mean making a job offer mandatory or giving more points for employability factors. It almost certainly means tougher English proficiency requirement.

So conversely, if you are applying with good English and employability factors, entry will become relatively easier than before?...

And it looks as if HIV/AIDS test will become part of the medical.

Cheers - Don
Don is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 5:58 am
  #3  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 207
jseni01d is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Originally posted by pleasancefamily:
I didn't get such a 'gloomy' feel as you, the document never really starts talking about reducing the numbers of immigrants under current policy - indeed, whilst acknowledging the 'backlog' problem and the high numbers applying for residence, it reinforces the need to sustain quite high numbers of net immigrants into NZ to boost GDP.
You're right about the general tone of the document, emphasizing the continuing need for skilled migrants. The government made the same point in the "Speech from the Throne" a few days ago. There certainly won't be any knee-jerk anti-immigration moves while Helen Clark is PM.

But the document says more on how immigrant 'outcomes' (ie successful integration of immigrants amd their quick employment etc) can/should be improved. So this might mean making a job offer mandatory or giving more points for employability factors.
Most of the practical suggestions it makes can only be seen as tightening regulations, although whether that is good or bad will depend on each individual's circumstances. Anyone with qualifications and a job offer will have no trouble getting in, but that has always been the case. The reason for my "gloom" was that I hope to get in WITHOUT a job offer (being a self-employed/freelance translator), and it sounds as if they're going to close that door even further, possibly even slamming it shut by making the job offer mandatory. (Raising the passmark to 29 or more would have the same effect, as far as I can see. I mean, how many 29-year-olds do you know with a Ph.D., 10 years work experience, and 200,000 NZD in savings?)

It almost certainly means tougher English proficiency requirement.
The point about English will be interesting from a political standpoint. Asian migration is what far-right party NZ First and various right-wing commentators have been complaining about, and making more fluent English a requirement would close the door on many Korean and Chinese applicants. The government might see this as a good chance to appear tough on Asian immigration without actually saying "we want fewer Asians".

My ideal scenario would be: Introduction of mandatory fluent English => dramatic drop in applications from Asia => backlog cleared => lower passmark. The interview idea also strikes me as beneficial for English speakers. On the other hand, my wife doesn't speak English that well, so depending on who they interview we could suffer. These are the kind of "what ifs" that only time will answer.

So conversely, if you are applying with good English and employability factors, entry will become relatively easier than before?...
That's the hope, at least for UK applicants. I've got English and employability in spades, but what I don't have is employMENT, at least not according to their definition. I'd like to see them open some kind of door halfway between working full-time for a company and having 1,000,000 NZD lying around to start a business with. At the moment self-employed and freelance workers are at a huge disadvantage.

And it looks as if HIV/AIDS test will become part of the medical.
That seems pretty logical, given that they already test for lots of other stuff.

John Senior,
Tokyo
jseni01d is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 9:01 am
  #4  
ams
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 78
ams is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

A close relative of mine works for the NZIS in NZ and as per her opinion the passmark might soon be pushed up to 31. Well...she has not told me much about when it might happen (maybe she does not have that information) but she said that it is very likely. I'm a pospective migrant waiting to apply. I'm having my time spent over gathering documents and wish to apply in a month or two.

If the rise becomes a reality, I would personally be in a very awkward position as even now I have my accumulated points at 24 only. It is understandable that I'll be applying for a job search visa as I'm within 5 points of the pass mark but if it is to go up to 31 and they still maintain the 5 points barrier (which I personally feel to be very illogical), I'll have to keep my application on hold for the time being.

Is there someone to tell me what logic is there behind maintaining a 5 point criteria between a PR and a Work visa. I couldn't understand. If NZIS are to grant 8 points for passmarks 28 and more then in that scenario isn't it logical to raise the barrier to 8 also?

English language criteria as discussed in the previous posts of this topic is very relevant. However I am not from a native English speaking background. While preparing for the IELTS with their study material (I'm referring to the samples that were included) I felt that the perople who got band scores of 5, their English was far from satisfactory. This was true especially with the Speaking tests.

Would love to hear more.
ams is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 9:30 am
  #5  
Ex Mod (2002-2005)
 
ptlabs's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 5,464
ptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

IMHO, IELTS score of 5 is simply not enough for day-to-day use, and certainly insufficient for professional so-called skilled occupations. Even a score of 6 is hardly going to get anyone anywhere when in a pure Anglo-English speaking environment.

IELTS 5 for Australian or NZ immigration hurts the migrants as much as it hurts the community the migrants are joining.

Peter
Originally posted by ams:
English language criteria as discussed in the previous posts of this topic is very relevant. However I am not from a native English speaking background. While preparing for the IELTS with their study material (I'm referring to the samples that were included) I felt that the perople who got band scores of 5, their English was far from satisfactory. This was true especially with the Speaking tests.
ptlabs is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 9:32 am
  #6  
Forum Regular
 
lizzie's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2002
Location: lancashire
Posts: 236
lizzie is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Originally posted by ams:
Is there someone to tell me what logic is there behind maintaining a 5 point criteria between a PR and a Work visa. I couldn't understand. If NZIS are to grant 8 points for passmarks 28 and more then in that scenario isn't it logical to raise the barrier to 8 also?
You have to be within 5 points of the passmark to be granted the chance of a work visa. If you get the required job, 8 points is given, which means for instance, you then don't have to lodge settlement funds to reach the passmark. If they were to make it that you had to be within 8 points of the passmark and be granted the 8 points for a job, practically every Tom, Dick and Harriet would be able to go this route and the numbers would increase not go down.

John Senior - I take it when you say that self-employed/freelance workers are at a disadvantage you mean if you wanted to continue this type of employment upon reaching NZ. I say this because my partner is self-employed/freelance and we have a successful application but upon reaching NZ he will have to find an employer and will not continue in his self-employed status. There's nothing to stop him doing this at a later date once PR is granted though.

Lizzie
lizzie is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 1:27 pm
  #7  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 207
jseni01d is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Originally posted by lizzie:

John Senior - I take it when you say that self-employed/freelance workers are at a disadvantage you mean if you wanted to continue this type of employment upon reaching NZ.
Exactly. I'm in a job that I can basically do anywhere, as long as there's a phone line. My logic goes, why not do it in one of the nicest places in the world to live instead of the concrete jungle of Tokyo, where we are now? My clients would continue to be in Japan, UK etc. and would continue to pay me in yen, pounds etc. Basically I'd be earning money from those countries and spending it, not to mention paying taxes, in NZ. But because my job doesn't involve 9-5 with a NZ employer 5 days a week, it means nothing in the PR process.

I say this because my partner is self-employed/freelance and we have a successful application but upon reaching NZ he will have to find an employer and will not continue in his self-employed status. There's nothing to stop him doing this at a later date once PR is granted though.
Increasingly this looks like our only option. We have 25-27 points depending on the NZQA, and on current trends that's not enough without a job. You're right, I could give up the freelance stuff and find a "proper" job, then go back later. That would mean stopping work for my clients, though, and I wonder if many of them would still be there once I started again. Is your partner in the same situation? Is he planning to go back to freelance work?

The other option we're seriously considering is applying for PR in Australia and going to NZ via there. We have our hearts set on NZ, but I believe Oz PR gives you de facto PR in NZ (but not the other way round), and I currently have enough points to pass there.

John
Tokyo
jseni01d is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 2:26 pm
  #8  
Forum Regular
 
lizzie's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2002
Location: lancashire
Posts: 236
lizzie is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Originally posted by jseni01d:

Increasingly this looks like our only option. We have 25-27 points depending on the NZQA, and on current trends that's not enough without a job. You're right, I could give up the freelance stuff and find a "proper" job, then go back later. That would mean stopping work for my clients, though, and I wonder if many of them would still be there once I started again. Is your partner in the same situation? Is he planning to go back to freelance work?


- Hello John, no, my partner has at the moment decided to work for an employer. The IT contracting business has been going through a "dry" period in the last couple of years in the UK, not helped by the Govt.'s IR35 legislation. So basically whereas once it was boom time, it is now very uncertain. Having a family to support he felt it was better to take a pay cut but be fairly secure in the knowledge that the money would come in than the alternative. I doubt if we would go back to that now wherever we live.

-----

The other option we're seriously considering is applying for PR in Australia and going to NZ via there. We have our hearts set on NZ, but I believe Oz PR gives you de facto PR in NZ (but not the other way round), and I currently have enough points to pass there.

John
Tokyo
I don't know whether you have looked into the timelines for applications to Oz but people here on this site are often waiting up to 2 years for PR. NZ applications on the otherhand are taking a matter of weeks (ours took 3!)

Cheers
Lizzie
lizzie is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 2:30 pm
  #9  
Ex Mod (2002-2005)
 
ptlabs's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 5,464
ptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond reputeptlabs has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Lizzie,

As far as I know, many people are still waiting for a NZ PR visa, which is why the passmark shot up, and is in danger of shooting up further in the months to come.

Perhaps your case was prepared and organized well enough for NZIS to approve it in double quick time?

Cheers,
Peter
Originally posted by lizzie:
I don't know whether you have looked into the timelines for applications to Oz but people here on this site are often waiting up to 2 years for PR. NZ applications on the otherhand are taking a matter of weeks (ours took 3!)
ptlabs is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 3:57 pm
  #10  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 207
jseni01d is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

I don't know whether you have looked into the timelines for applications to Oz but people here on this site are often waiting up to 2 years for PR. NZ applications on the otherhand are taking a matter of weeks (ours took 3!)
I must admit I thought NZIS had a backlog of 2 years' worth of applications. Certainly the Delhi branch recently admitted anyone applying now was looking at 2 years for a result. Most people on this list must be using the London embassy, I suppose, which might not be 2 years but surely can't be that far behind. Your 3 weeks must surely be a record! As for us, we have to apply to the Hong Kong consulate because we're in Japan, and I imagine the situation there is quite similar to Delhi.

We're actually not planning to leave here for another couple of years, so at the moment we're trying to predict where NZ policy is heading, an impossible task basically. We'd rather apply straight to NZ rather than via Oz, but waiting for the NZ passmark to come down within reach is looking increasingly futile, even with a timeframe of a few years. After today's news about even more tightening of regulations, I'm going to start looking into the Oz PR => NZ PR route more seriously. My instincts tell me there has to be a catch somewhere...

John
jseni01d is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 6:14 pm
  #11  
Forum Regular
 
Pippa's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, NZ (was Broadstairs, Kent, UK)
Posts: 112
Pippa is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Have any changes in the pass mark for September been announced yet ??

Isnt it meant to be available 5 days in advance ?

Pippa xx
Pippa is offline  
Old Aug 29th 2002, 10:57 pm
  #12  
Ronald Steven Williams
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

So the pass mark goes up....hmmm...so if this expected rise occurs, how do NZ
immigration intend to fill the skills/trade gap. OK you've got the odd scheme here
and there...but what is there to tempt really skilled people to this wonderful place.
NZ has the main big attraction thing and that is just being NZ. Whereas other
countries just offer bundles of cash...(which seems to attract). Increasing the pass
mark will only induce more scams to overcome...which will make the pass mark
impossible to lower....MORE RADICAL STEPS NEEDED!
 
Old Aug 30th 2002, 1:24 am
  #13  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 207
jseni01d is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Originally posted by Pippa:
Have any changes in the pass mark for September been announced yet ??
Isnt it meant to be available 5 days in advance ?
Answer to first question: No, not yet, at least not according to the website. The NZIS bureaucrats have simply written a briefing to the incoming Immigration Minister (actually the same person as before, I think), suggesting that such a rise may be necessary and that various other measures might be needed to stem the backlog.

Answer to second question: YES! That means August 27 by my count, giving very alert people just about enough time to get an application to them by the end of the month, and yet on Aug. 29 they posted this briefing telling the minister a decision "might" need to be taken to raise the passmark for September... Oh well, I suppose a laid-back attitude to time is one of the things that attracts people to NZ in the first place.

John
Tokyo
jseni01d is offline  
Old Aug 31st 2002, 5:22 am
  #14  
Don
Banned
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 7,613
Don is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

The new NZ govt this week set out its 3 year plan (see http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydispl...eportid=462585) and the key point for immigration was that policy concentrates on 'developing the capacity to recruit talented and skilled immigrants'.

There is unlikely to be any decrease in target numbers for immigration, rather the opposite is more probable.

But we could easily see the target proportion of skilled/business migrants go up and family etc categories disdavantaged.
Don is offline  
Old Aug 31st 2002, 5:51 am
  #15  
BE Enthusiast
 
BritboyNZ's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 604
BritboyNZ is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: NZ Policy News: Passmark Rise?

Originally posted by Pippa:
Have any changes in the pass mark for September been announced yet ??
Isnt it meant to be available 5 days in advance ?

If you read the briefing for the new minister carefully, it goes on about the effect of giving notice about impending passmark changes. One thing I think they will definitely do is announce a change in the passmark to take effect immediately (ie perhaps on Monday 2nd Sept!) When NZIS increased the passmark from 25 to 28, there was a 5 day period between the announcement and the new passmark coming into force, the effect of this was that the New Delhi office had 1500 applications for PR in one DAY! There were large numbers of applications lodged in other offices as well apparently. This obviously creates problems for them as they get huge influxes of applications they can't deal with immediately which pushes up their costs, so to prevent this happening I think its a foregone conclusion they will give very little notice of any impending passmark changes.
BritboyNZ is offline  

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.