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Immigration Policy Changes At A Glance

CHANGES AT A GLANCE TO:
- English Language Requirements for the Skills/Business Category
- Job Search Visa Requirements
- Amendments to Business Immigration Policies

English Language

Policy Until 19 November

From 20 November 2002

General Skills Principal Applicant

IELTS General Training Module band score of five average required for principal applicant.

IELTS General Training Module band score of 6.5 average required to qualify for residence.

General Skills Secondary Applicant

IELTS General Training Module band score of five average required for principal applicant – or able to pre-purchase ESOl training.

No change to policy for General Skills secondary applicants. All secondary applicants who do not meet the required standard will continue to be able to pre-purchase ESOL training.

Business Principal Applicant (Entrepreneur, Investor & Employees of Relocating Businesses Categories)

IELTS General Training Module in each band score of four required for principal applicant.

Or able to pre-purchase ESOL training.

IELTS General Training Module band score of 5 average required to qualify for residence.

No pre-purchase of ESOL training – must meet IELTS requirement to qualify.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Secondary Applicant (Entrepreneur, Investor & Employees of Relocating Businesses Categories)

IELTS General Training Module band score of four required for principal applicant, or able to pre-purchase ESOL training.

IELTS General Training Module band score of 5 average required to qualify for residence.

All secondary applicants who do not meet the required standard will continue to be able to pre-purchase ESOL training.

Long-Term Business Visa Applicants

No requirement to meet minimum English language levels.

IELTS General Training Module band score of 5 average required to qualify for Visa.

No pre-purchase of ESOL training available – must meet IELTS requirement to qualify.

Existing Long-Term Business Visa Holders Applying for Residence Under Entrepreneur Categories

IELTS General Training Module band score of four required for principal applicant.

For holders of a Long-term Business Visa as at November 20 2002 who subsequently apply for residence under the Entrepreneur Category, the previous IELTS score of four will apply rather than the new standard of five.

Those applicants who already have an application for a LTBV but have not been issued with a work visa or granted a work permit under LTBV policy by 20 November 2002, will need to meet the new standard of five if they wish to subsequently apply for residence under the Entreprenuer cateogry.

Job Search Visas

Policy Until 19 November

From 20 November 2002

Job Search Work Visas

May be issued to General Skills principal applicants within five points of the General Skills passmark.

May be issued to General Skills principal applicants within five points of the General Skills passmark only if:

These changes to policy apply to those people who have already applied for residence but who have not yet been invited to apply for a job search visa.

Business Immigration Policies

Long-Term Business Visa/Permit Category

Policy Until 19 November

From 20 November 2002

Requirement to Demonstrate Benefit to New Zealand

No requirement that plans for the establishment of or investment in a business in New Zealand demonstrate that the business will benefit New Zealand in some way.

Criteria for business benefiting New Zealand now consistent with Entrepreneur category and reads:

  1. A business may be considered to benefit New Zealand if it promotes New Zealand's economic growth by for example:
  1. Introducing new, or enhancing existing, technology, management or technical skills, or
  2. Introducing new, or enhancing existing, products or services; or
  3. Creating new or enhancing existing New Zealand export markets; or
  4. Creating employment (other than for the principal applicant); or
  5. Revitalising an existing New Zealand business; and
  1. the business is trading profitably at the time a subsequent application under the Entrepreneur category is made or clearly has the potential to be trading profitably within 12 months after that application is made.

Currency of Visas and Permits

Visas allow stay of three years.

  • Initial multiple-entry visa for nine months only.
  • Further permits granted if NZIS is satisfied that reasonable steps have been taken to establish and operate the proposed business and that money required to establish business has been transferred to New Zealand.

Changing a Business Proposal

No policy about whether a business proposal can be changed within the first three years of the work permit.

  • Further permits (see above) will not be granted within the initial three-year period (or the current permit will be revoked) where an applicant embarks on a different business proposal without the consent of the BIS.
  • All visa and permit labels issued or granted to LTBV applicants will contain the conditions that the applicant is self employed in the particular industry that they have identified in their business plan.

Current policy allows for renewal of Long Term Business Permits for a further three-year period. If at the time a renewal is requested, NZIS considers that the nature of the business has changed substantially from the business initially proposed, a new application is required.

New business plans will be accepted only where:

  1. the plan meets the policy requirements for a business plan; and
  2. there are genuine reasons for abandoning the original proposal; and
  3. the subsequent proposal requires the same or a greater level of capital investment than the original proposal; and
  4. the applicant has access to sufficient capital to finance the proposed new business; and
  5. the applicant has relevant experience for the proposed business.

Entrepreneur Category

Criteria for Benefit to New Zealand

A business may be considered to benefit New Zealand if it promotes New Zealand's economic growth through, for example:

  1. technology, management or technical skills; or
  2. products or services; or
  3. export markets; or
  4. employment (including employment for the principal applicant only); or
  5. an existing business.

Criteria for a business benefiting New Zealand state that:

a) A business may be considered to benefit New Zealand if it promotes New Zealand's economic growth by, for example:

  1. introducing new, or enhancing existing, technology, management or technical skills; or
  2. introducing new, or enhancing existing, products or services; or
  3. creating new or enhancing existing New Zealand export markets; or
  4. creating employment (other than for the principal applicant); or
  5. revitalising an existing New Zealand business; and
  1. the business is trading profitably at the time the application is made or clearly has the potential to be trading profitably within 12 months after the application is made.

Changing Business Plans - Consistency with LTBV Policy

When the holder of a Long Term Business Permit applies under the Entrepreneur Category, no policy exists regarding whether a business proposal can be different to that provided when applying for their LTBV.

When a Long Term Business Permit holder applies under the Entrepreneur Category and the business they have established is different to the one outlined in the plan submitted when applying under the LTBV category; and they have not received NZIS endorsement for the change, the Entrepreneur application will be declined unless:

  • the business that has been established would have met the requirements for a business plan under LTBV policy; and
  • the business that has been established requires the same or a greater level of capital investment than the original proposal; and
  • the applicant has relevant experience for the new business.
  •  

     

    Good Employer Provisions

    No requirements pertaining to the role of an applicant as an employer in a newly established business or a business in which they have a substantial investment in New Zealand are part of residence requirement.

    Where an applicant has established a business or made a substantial investment in a business that employs staff in New Zealand, that business must comply with all relevant employment and immigration law in force in New Zealand. Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment and immigration law includes but is not limited to:

    (a) paying employees no less than the appropriate adult or youth minimum wage or other contracted industry standard; and

    (b) meeting holiday and special leave requirements or other minimum statutory criteria, e.g. occupational safety and health obligations; and

    1. only employing people who have authority to work in New Zealand.

    Transitional Arrangements to Entrepreneur Category for Existing LTBV/P Holders

     

    Those applicants who have been issued and granted Long Term Business Visas and Permits under the LTBV category prior to the effective date of changes to Entrepreneur Category policy of 20 November 2002, will have their subsequent Entrepreneur Category applications tested against policy that was in place prior to this date.

    Employees of Relocating Businesses (ERB) Category

    Benefit to New Zealand

    Policy does not contain a definition of 'benefit to New Zealand'.

    • Business must meet a set criteria for the 'benefit to New Zealand'. These criteria are the same as those for the Entrepreneur Category.
    • The relocation of a business to New Zealand (on the basis of which the key employee is applying for residence) are required to have the support of Trade New Zealand, Industry New Zealand or a similar body.

    Good Employer Provisions

    • A key employee of a business wishing to relocate to New Zealand whose application for residence has been approved in principle is issued with a work visa or permit enabling them to stay in New Zealand for up to 24 months to facilitate the relocation of the business.
    • If evidence of the relocation of the business is provided within that 24-month period, the applicant is granted a residence permit with requirements imposed under s18A of the Immigration Act 1987.
    • The key requirement imposed on the permit is that the employee must be employed by the relocated business for the 24-month period following its relocation.
    • Relocated business in which the applicant is a key employee must comply with all relevant employment and immigration law in force in New Zealand.
    • Where the NZIS had reason to believe that the business did not comply with all relevant New Zealand employment and immigration law, further information would be sought from the applicant and where the business was found to breach the 'good employer' requirements, the requirements would remain on the residence permit or the residence permit would be revoked under s20 (1)(d) of the Immigration Act 1987.

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