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News and Updates

The latest immigration and visa news for the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and select European countries - straight from the leading immigrant advocates in the Philippines.

New Zealand Migration Program Changes 2020-2021

Continued restriction on permanent residency pathways, revision of regulations to welcome more international students and temporary workers.

Crispin Aranda

New Zealand Migration Program Changes 2020-2021

Skilled Migrant and Essential Skills — remuneration threshold changes

On 24 February 2020 the wage or salary thresholds for Skilled Migrant Resident Visas and Essential Skills Work Visas will increase. Median salary and wage rate of NZD $25.50 per hour (up 2% from last year), the equivalent to NZD $53,040 per year for a 40-hour per week job.

New assessments of visitor visas to join New Zealand partners

Monday, 2 December 2019. People coming to New Zealand to join their partner can be considered genuine visitors, as long as they meet all other requirements for a visitor visa.

Update on Pathway Student Visa Pilot

Effective January 2021.  Education providers will only be able to qualify to be a Pathway education provider if we approve at least 80% of the applications we receive from offshore students intending to study with them. Restriction to be imposed on study pathways that start with English language study so they are consistent with the English language requirements for international students

The Parent Resident Visa will reopen with new requirements

To reopen February 2020, selection starts May 2020. with new criteria that applicants and sponsors must meet:

  • limiting parent visa each year to 1000
  • standardize the expression of interest process and removing the 2-tier system
  • new financial requirements for sponsors:
  • asking sponsors to provide evidence of their annual income through Inland Revenue tax statements, and show they have met the income requirement for 2 out of the 3 years before the visa application is lodged
  • removing the option to meet financial eligibility criteria through a parent’s guaranteed lifetime income or settlement funds.

(Income must be met for 2 out of 3 years before application)

Current income requirement (NZ$)

New income requirement

1 parent, 1 sponsor



1 sponsor, 2 parents



Sponsor & partner, 1 parent



Sponsor & partner 2 parents



Latest developments in the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme

Effective 2020-2021 -  Raise number of foreign seasonal workers employer may sponsor from 14,400 to 16,000. The Government has given conditional approvals.

Temporary work visas changing for employers and workers, effective mid-2020

  • Employers must first be accredited to recruit foreign workers.
  • Work visa tied to specific employer.
  • Set minimum income at $25 per hour instead of using ANZCO to determine pay.
  • Jobs will be defined as higher-paid or lower-paid using $25/hour median pay as basis.
  • Higher paid workers may qualify for NZ residency after 2 years.
  • Lower-paid workers (LPWs) must leave NZ after 3 years unless worker is paid above median level in the 3-year period. However, LPWs would be able to bring family with them. Children may study and pay subsidized tuition fees for secondary education.

Permanent closure of the Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa

The Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (SFJSWV) closed permanently 7 October 2019. Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa remains open. Those with SFJSWV have only 2 years to explore family visa options, or other pathway to residency.

Authors & Contributors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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