Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

Old Jul 12th 2013, 8:34 am
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Default Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

Hi, so our wheels are slowly beginning to churn into motion now that OH has job offer. They've said they would like him there within 3 months. We all want to leave together because I'm not going to be able to do everything alone with three under 5s.

It has always been our intention to go on a skilled migrants visa, and possibly to do a temp work visa alongside it (with me on a partnership work visa, and the kids on 1 student and 2 visitor visas). That latter bit sounds horribly complicated though and makes me want to bury my head in the sand a bit.

Apparently the average selection time for EOIs in the last 2 months have been 4 and 5 days, and NZ house have told us the rest would be processed in 1-3 months. If his employer doesn't want to wait for all that, then...

Do you think we would be better off going on a WTR visa? His employer is accredited. Is that an easier process than the SM visa? IF we did that, would he be classed as a resident? And what about us, would we just be temporary or would we also be able to get residence status alongside him?

What are the pros and cons of both, in comparison to doing the SM visa with temp visas alongside, anyone in the know? We hadn't really considered the WTR visa previously as he's not on the long term skills shortage list but now it turns out he's with an accredited employer it's opened the option up, but need to make a decision sharpish.
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

we came on over using the Skilled Migrant visa. I didn't have a job and didn't want to look for one until the kids were settled so hubby got a temp work visa so he could start work immediately and we just went along the PR route.
Myself and the kids came out on visitors visa's, this allows us to stay for 6mths with an onward flight out of NZ. As my eldest wasn't coming and he was turning 21 6mths after we left we decided that we would have our onward flight back to UK to see him. Our visa process starting in the UK with the ITA submitted end of October, hubby was out in NZ on Temp work visa and myself and the kids came out in January. We got the Approval end of January with Christmas delay, husband having to get his job description rewritten 3 times to satisfy CO and mine and my daughters medicals being referred - all came back ok. So we had the file transferred over to NZ for the visa's to be put in which happened on 14th February. School stated on the 6th February, we had spoken to the Head and showed the confirmation letter and was given 2 weeks to produce the passports which enable the kids to start at the beginning of term and not a few weeks in.
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

Well it all seems to be coming along nicely

A few things about the WTR visa, you may know this but if not it helps answer your specific questions:
The Talent [accredited employer] WTR visa requires the job offer to have a salary of >$55,000 and be for at least two years duration.
Your husband will be issued with a work visa with a duration of 30 months. After he has worked in the job for 24 months he can convert this to residency. You do not do this via the SMC.
He will not be a resident of NZ until then. You would still need to apply for the temp partnership work visa and the visit and study visas for the children. In effect you are still applying for a work visa when you apply under WTR.
You can run two applications together. Many do this to get them starting work on time ie apply for WTR and keep the SMC application ticking away in the background. I would think that WTR would be better than a Work Visa as the employer is accredited, otherwise the employer would have to prove no NZers could do the job if you went for a work visa [ as not on any of the Skills shortage lists]

Advantages to SMC:
--You become residents straight away, no two year wait. You have to have been resident for two years before you can get a Permanent Resident Visa [unless earning >$90K on the WTR] which means you retain residency even if you leave for a few years. You have to have been a resident for 5 years to apply for citizenship. The resident visa and PRV stuff is much further in the future but something to consider.
--You are not tied to an employer-you have to work for 3m in your job if you gained residency using a job offer under the SMC. After that you apply for the conditions to be removed and you can change jobs if you want to. You can change employer under the WTR visa but you still have to fulfil the conditions eg accredited employer
--The whole family goes on one application, no need for extra visas for everyone else

But:
--it is more expensive, I have not compared WTR and residence from work to SMC costs though
--takes much longer to process
--it is more 'work' for you when you've got other things to plan. That is not a big deal as you'll need to collate much of the paperwork anyway for the WTR and the move. Once the EOI is done there's not a lot more paperwork, it's just gathering everything together which you can be getting on with already.

You could see how flexible the employer is on the start date.

How's the EOI going?
If I come up with anything else I'll let you know

Hope this helps, ask if this doesn't make sense in places!
P

Just to add, and hopefully not confuse you more!: If the job has a salary of >$90,000 then you can apply straight for a PRV after doing the two years on a WTR visa, which cancels out any time advantage longterm to the SMC. Therefore you do not need to spend two more years on a resident visa before you can apply. You are still a permanent resident whether you are on a resident visa or a PRV. This is simplified but you need to spend a certain amount of time in NZ each year to retain residency until issued a PRV.

Last edited by Persephone; Jul 12th 2013 at 4:30 pm.
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Old Jul 15th 2013, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

Thanks so much that's a really useful insight.

We are in two minds over it all but possibly leaning towards SMC + temp visas over the WTR route.

One of the things we're thinking is that our middle child will be 3 in Dec and according to the ministry of education site will be eligible for 20 hours of free preschool at that age if we're residents. I can't find any information but I assume that he won't be eligible if we're just on temp visas at that point - does anyone know? And that point is really important to us as we won't be able to afford to pay for many preschool hours but he's so shy I think the social aspect to preschool is going to be really important preparation for school.

Also my mother in law is on her own and OH is her only child so she thinks when we've been residents for 3 years she will apply to come out herself and doing the WTR route will presumably delay that all by a further 2 years.

The cost and (relative) ease of the WTR route does seem very appealing though!

Persephone one question - I assumed that the SMC led to permanent residency straight away rather than just residency. Is that the case with that or does OH need to be earning >$90K to go straight in on a PR visa even with that? The reason I ask is his salary is still under negotiation I think but is hovering either just below or just above the $90K mark so that may effect the outcome potentially.
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Old Jul 15th 2013, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

We are in two minds over it all but possibly leaning towards SMC + temp visas over the WTR route..
The only issue I can see with that is that it may be harder for you to get work visas [job not on any of the shortage lists] than a WTR visa. You can apply for WTR and SMC at the same time. WTR is after all, just a work visa.

One of the things we're thinking is that our middle child will be 3 in Dec and according to the ministry of education site will be eligible for 20 hours of free preschool at that age if we're residents. I can't find any information but I assume that he won't be eligible if we're just on temp visas at that point - does anyone know? And that point is really important to us as we won't be able to afford to pay for many preschool hours but he's so shy I think the social aspect to preschool is going to be really important preparation for school..
If you're only eligible if you hold residency then the quickest way is under the SMC [with a WTR/work visa to get you started]. Otherwise you have to wait 2 years before you become residents if you only go for WTR. As for the funding, I have no children and have not needed to look into that so I can't help, sorry.

Also my mother in law is on her own and OH is her only child so she thinks when we've been residents for 3 years she will apply to come out herself and doing the WTR route will presumably delay that all by a further 2 years.
Yes, you can only sponsor a parent when you've been resident for at least three years. So yet another advantage to SMC! And yes you can only apply to become a NZ resident after working for two years on a WTR visa. Prior to that you are on a temporary work visa. There are quite strict conditions to a parent category visa: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migra...nt/default.htm It does sound like you can apply under Tier one though you'd have to read through all the details and confirm for yourself

The cost and (relative) ease of the WTR route does seem very appealing though!
.
It is cheaper but bear in mind you still have to apply for residency at the end of two years. You can compare the costs using the fee finder on the NZIS website-don't forget your work, study and visitor visa costs. The costs of funding for preschool and the extra time before you can sponsor your mother need to be factored into it as well. If may not work out much cheaper in the long run!


Persephone one question - I assumed that the SMC led to permanent residency straight away rather than just residency. Is that the case with that or does OH need to be earning >$90K to go straight in on a PR visa even with that? The reason I ask is his salary is still under negotiation I think but is hovering either just below or just above the $90K mark so that may effect the outcome potentially.
I wondered if that bit might confuse you, oops! You are conflating two separate visas!
Permanent residency[PR] and residency are the same thing but with the existence of the PRV it can help to differentiate.

You apply under the SMC and are successful. The whole family is issued with 'Resident Visas with two years travel conditions'. You have PR in that you have the right to remain resident in NZ indefinitely. If you never leave NZ ever then your resident visa does not expire.
So you will be permanent residents right from the start under the SMC but will not have Permanent resident visas

You need valid travel conditions to leave NZ and return as a resident. Once your 2y travel conditions expire and you have spent enough time in NZ in each of the preceding two years then you can apply for a Permanent Resident Visa [PRV]-with this visa, there are no limits on how long you have to remain in NZ to retain residency. There are other ways to gain a PRV but no need to confuse you more. If you haven't spent enough time then you apply for a further resident visa with travel conditions until eventually you can apply for a PRV.



The $90K requirement is only relevant if you decide to ditch the SMC and stay on the WTR for two years and then convert to residency. Those who earn this amount will be granted a PRV straight away. Earn less than $90K and you are issued the standard 'resident visa with two years travel conditions'. Then have to wait two years before you can claim a PRV.

Getting a PRV 'protects' your NZ residency in a way. If you needed to leave NZ for a long length of time then there are no restrictions on you returning as residents [unless the law changes but that seems unlikely]
If you do not have a PRV, you leave NZ, your travel conditions expire and you leave it too long then the only way to reclaim residency is a new application.

Please tell me that makes sense, I hate to think I've confused you more. In reality the PRV/resident visa thing isn't that important at the moment.

Last edited by Persephone; Jul 15th 2013 at 7:33 pm.
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Old Jul 15th 2013, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

In summary: a resident visa with travel conditions compared to a PRV.

You have permanent residency with both but with the former there are restrictions on how long you must remain in NZ in each year if you want to retain your NZ PR. You are no less of a permanent resident with either visa.

Maybe just read this and ignore the long winded [and that was the short version] version in the post above
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Old Jul 15th 2013, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

We were in exactly the same situation as you. We went via the WTR due to time but as there was a 4 month delay with their accreditation certificate, I might have been able to get a SM visa. Few points to note

If you decide to come on a WTR but then change to a Skilled Migrant, you have to pay the full amount (about $1,810 NZD). It's cheaper to remain on the WTR for 2 years and then pay only $890 when the time comes. That's what we're doing, even though I could have applied under the SM from August last year.

Government help, careful! This is changing! National are planning on bringing in a new legislation where you must be a resident and have a valid IRD number for at least 2 years now before obtaining government help. If this does happen, then you will not be eligible for the 20 hours care paid for by the government. Nor will you be able to claim tax credits or any other help. This is mainly in response to all the petty arguments they're having with the Aussies in terms of help between the two countries and NZ first have been whinging about with equal rights. Not sure when they're bringing this out but it's something NZ first have been heavily campaigning for due to unfairness that migrants can obtain help straight away if they wanted.

What does this mean for people on WTR's. Nothing will be changed. You would have had a valid IRD number for at least 2 years which is the main requirement. So effectively when changing to resident, your sorted.

So how much is child care? Our son is in a kidicorp and we pay $165.00 a week full time.

Other things to note about the WTR, is the company an accredited employer? Is the salary over $55,000?

You do not have to remain with the same company for the 2 years. However, if you do want to change companies, you'll need to get a job with another accredited employer. Once the offer is made, it'll need to be accepted by your local immigration branch. You don't require to re-start the 2 years again, once you've been with them long enough (plus previous job) to equal 2 years you can apply for residency

Personally I wish we went via the Skilled Migrant purely because of the headache we're having with immigration and internal affairs over our son (but that's another story).
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

I applied for a residency visa but the employer didn't want to wait for that long so First i applied for a temp work visa and then went to NZ and started work while waiting for the other one.
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Old Jul 25th 2013, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

Thanks for all this info it has been really helpful. I think we are going to go on a WTR as it is going to be the most straightforward application due to the accredited employer, though Tom out of interest can I ask what the issue was with the accreditation certificate?

Also curious about what the issue is with your son though fully understand if you don't want to say! :-)

This entire process is turning me into an absolute nervous wreck, I'm living in a permanent state of feeling sick about what's going to go wrong, can't wait til it's all over!
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Old Jul 25th 2013, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

Also persephone thank you that all makes perfect sense and has really helped us to arrive at the decision, thank you!
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Old Jul 29th 2013, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Skilled Migrant vs. WTR

Originally Posted by tiger mama View Post
Thanks for all this info it has been really helpful. I think we are going to go on a WTR as it is going to be the most straightforward application due to the accredited employer, though Tom out of interest can I ask what the issue was with the accreditation certificate?

Also curious about what the issue is with your son though fully understand if you don't want to say! :-)

This entire process is turning me into an absolute nervous wreck, I'm living in a permanent state of feeling sick about what's going to go wrong, can't wait til it's all over!
The companys certificate expired and well they took a while to renew it. Given the culture of the company, it doesn't surprise me it took a while

As for the immigration/internal affairs issue - New Zealand would not have allowed my son back in the country if we travelled away. I have a weeks work in Adelaide soon and was going to take the wife and son with me for them to see a new part of Australia. Despite Dylan having a status check requested by Internal Affairs, he wouldn't have been allowed back in if he left the country.
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