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New milestone in Skilled Migrant Category

19 February 2004 Media Statement

New milestone in Skilled Migrant Category

A preliminary group of prospective skilled migrants have been selected from the new Skilled Migrant Category pool, Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel announced today.

The Skilled Migrant Category which came into effect in December last year, was designed to enhance the points-based system with a strengthened focus on migrants with attributes and skills that meet New Zealand needs and who will settle well.

It was therefore based on Expressions of Interest which are then submitted to a selection Pool and ranked according to total points claimed.

“The preliminary selection of 126 Expressions of Interest (representing 371 people), which scored 195 points or higher will enable the integrity of the new system to be tested,” Lianne Dalziel said.

Since the category opened in December, over 2000 Expressions of interest have been registered.

“As the Skilled Migrant Category is a new policy, this preliminary selection is designed to confirm that the New Zealand Immigration Service processes are robust.

“By selecting a small number in a preliminary selection, we will be able to determine the integrity of the Expressions of Interest received, by checking experience, qualifications, job offers and any other matters that points have been claimed for. After checking, Invitations to apply for residence for this group will be issued.

“The calibre of Expressions of Interest has exceeded my expectations with many scoring well over the 100 minimum points score. Those with the highest points not only seem to meet all the prerequisites but also appear to have skills, experience and employment opportunities in areas where New Zealand has real needs that need to be met,” Lianne Dalziel said

Expressions of Interest will remain in the pool for three months or at least three draws. This week’s preliminary selection will not count for these purposes. The first such selection will take place at the beginning of March.

“The NZIS has advised me that subsequent draws will take place approximately every two weeks. This will give applicants multiple chances of being selected from the Pool. It’s only if they are not selected from the Pool within the three month period, from March that they will be lapsed,” says Lianne Dalziel.

Information about the Pool selection, including the ‘selection point’ is published on the NZIS website at www.immigration.govt.nz. Principal applicants will also be notified, within a few days, if their Expression of Interest has been selected from the Pool.

Editor’s Notes

The online Expression of Interest and Question and Answer document are available on the New Zealand Immigration Service website at www.immigration.govt.nz.

Changes to skilled immigration policy were announced by the government in July 2003 following a comprehensive review of the General Skills component of the Skilled/Business stream of the New Zealand Immigration Programme.

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