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New Zealand PR Requirements: Good Character, English Language, Points System

In this blog, we will explain the requirements for applying for a Permanent Residency in New Zealand. We will cover the PR points and minimum IELTS scores required, what acceptable standards of health is, and what good character means by the New Zealand Immigration Authorities.
Written by:
Mehak Sharma
Published on
03-Jun-19

Table of Contents:

  1. What are the requirements to migrate to New Zealand?

  2. Meaning of Acceptable Standard of Health

  3. Meaning of Good Character

  4. Meaning of English language capabilities

  5. How many points are required for New Zealand PR?

  6. What is the minimum IELTS score required for New Zealand immigration?

  7. FAQs

What are the requirements to migrate to New Zealand?

To qualify for a resident visa under this policy you must meet all of the following minimum requirements:

  1. You must have an acceptable standard of health

  2. You must be of good character

  3. You must have proven English language capabilities

  4. You must be under the age limit of 56 years

  5. You must reach a minimum points score of 100

Meaning of Acceptable Standard of Health

Immigration to New Zealand considers you to have an acceptable standard of health if you are:

  1. Unlikely to be a danger to public health

  2. Unlikely to be a burden on public health services

  3. Fit for the purpose of entry to New Zealand

Meaning of Good Character

Applicants for all visas must be of good character, not pose a security risk and not threaten New Zealand’s international reputation. People with serious character issues can’t be granted any visa or entry permission, except in very special circumstances. People with other character issues must have the good character requirement waived before they can be granted residence.

Serious character issues

You can't be granted a visa if you:

  • have ever been convicted of an offence for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more

  • have been convicted in the last 10 years of an offence for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or longer

  • are prohibited from entering New Zealand

  • have ever been removed, excluded, or deported from any country.

Consult: Top Immigration Lawyers in India

You will also not be granted a visa if there’s a reason to believe you:

  • are likely to commit an offence in New Zealand that is punishable by imprisonment

  • are likely to be a risk to security

  • are likely to be a threat to public order

  • are likely to be a risk to the public interest.

If you have a serious character issue, you are normally ineligible to be granted a visa unless you are granted a special direction.

Character issues that require a character waiver

You will also not meet the character requirements for residence if you:

  • have ever made or provided false or misleading information, or withheld material information when applying for a New Zealand visa, or when supporting another person’s New Zealand visa application

  • have ever been convicted of an offence against immigration, citizenship or passport laws in any country

  • have ever been convicted of an offence involving:

  1. violence

  2. prohibited drugs

  3. dishonesty

  • have ever been convicted of an offence of a sexual nature

  • have ever been convicted of an offence for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment

  • have, while holding a temporary New Zealand visa, or while unlawfully in New Zealand, been convicted of an offence in any country for which the court had the power to imprison you for three months or longer.

  • have been convicted in the last five years of an offence involving:

  1. dangerous driving

  2. drunk driving

  3. driving after consuming drugs

  • have ever publicly made a racist statement

  • have ever been a member of a racist group.

If your character may prevent you from granting you a visa, you should provide a full explanation about the character issue, with supporting evidence when you apply.

Character issues that will delay your residence application

Your application for residence will be deferred if:

  • You are under investigation, wanted for questioning, or have been charged with an offence which, if you are convicted would be considered a serious character issue or would require you to be granted a character waiver, as described above

  • There is an active arrest warrant for you in any country

  • Your residence application is based on a relationship to a person whose own New Zealand residence status is under investigation.

Meaning of English language capabilities

You will have to state your English language standard in your Expression of Interest. If you do not provide a plausible confirmation of the required minimum standard of English in your Expression of Interest, Immigration New Zealand will not invite you to apply for residence. The minimum English language requirements are different for the principal applicant and for partners and children included in the EOI.  

The required level of English for principal applicants:

Principal applicants meet the minimum standard of English under Skilled Migrant Category if they can provide one of the following:

  • An acceptable English language test result (find out more about acceptable English test results);

  • Evidence of citizenship in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) or the United States of America (USA), and evidence of having spent at least five years working or studying in those countries, or in Australia or New Zealand;

  • Evidence of a recognised qualification gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. The qualification must be comparable to a New Zealand bachelor’s degree. You must have studied for at least two years in any of those countries to get that qualification;

  • Evidence of a recognised qualification gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. The qualification must be comparable to a postgraduate New Zealand qualification. You must have studied for at least one year in any of those countries to get that qualification.

The English language requirements for family members:

Partners and Children aged 16 and over can either meet the requirements above or pre-purchase English tuition, ESOL. Please note that the acceptable level of English language is lower for partners and children than it is for the principal applicant. Children under 16 do not have to meet English language requirements.

How many points are required for New Zealand PR?

The New Zealand Skilled Migrant points system is designed to allow Expressions of Interest to be ranked in order so that the New Zealand Immigration authorities can make invitations to apply for residence to those migrants who can offer the most to New Zealand.

Points are awarded for age, having family members in New Zealand, your employment, previous work experience, and qualifications. You will need to meet the minimum threshold of 100 points to be able to lodge an Expression of Interest.

  • Age

Age

Points

20-29

30

30-39

25

40-44

20

45-49

10

50-55

5

 

  • Family

You gain 10 points for having close family already living in New Zealand.

  • Employment

Current Employment or Offer of Employment

Points

Having a job offer in New Zealand

50

Currently working in a skilled job in New Zealand for less than 1 year

50

Currently working in a skilled job in New Zealand for more than 1 year

60

 

  • Employment bonus points

Current Employment or Offer of Employment

Points

In an identified future growth area

10

In an area of absolute skills shortage

10

In a region outside Auckland

30

Partner/spouse has a skilled job or job offer.

20

 

  • Work experience in skilled employment

Duration

Points

2 years

10

4 years

15

6 years

20

8 years

25

10 years

30

 

Related Read: New Zealand Permanent Residency

  • Bonus points for work experience in New Zealand

Duration

Points

1 year

5

2 years

10

3 years +

15

  • Bonus points for work experience in an identified future growth area

Duration

points

2-5 years

10

6 years +

15

 

  • Bonus points for work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage

Duration

points

2-5 years

10

6 years +

15

 

  • Qualifications

Qualification Level

Points

4-6 (such as a trade qualification or diploma)

40

7-8 (such as a Bachelor's degree)

50

9-10 (such as a Master's degree or doctorate)

60

 

  • Bonus points for qualifications

Qualification

Points

2 years full-time study in New Zealand completing a Bachelor's degree 

10

1 year of full-time study in New Zealand completing a postgraduate degree

10

2 years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a postgraduate degree

15

Qualification in an identified future growth area

10

Qualification in an area of absolute skills shortage

10

Partner/spouse holds a level 4-6 qualification

10

Partner/spouse holds a level 7 qualification or higher

20

  What is the minimum IELTS score required for New Zealand immigration?

Those who wish to migrate to New Zealand must meet the minimum standard of English required by the New Zealand Government. The government requests IELTS as evidence of English language proficiency for many visas, including those within the Skilled Migrant, Business, Parent, and Residence from Work categories.

  1. Skilled Migrant Category: The principal applicant must have an overall band score of 6.5 in the IELTS General or IELTS Academic module. Their partner and children will need an overall band score of at least 5 in the IELTS General or IELTS Academic module.

  2. Business Categories: For the principal applicant, the required IELTS band score depends on which category the person applies under.

  1. Employee of a Relocating Business Category: An overall band score of at least 5 in the General or Academic module.

  2. Entrepreneur Residence or Entrepreneur Work Visa categories: An overall band score of at least 4 in the General or Academic module.

  3. Investor (Investor 2 Category): An overall band score of at least 3 in the General or Academic module.

Partners and children aged 16 or over included in the application must also meet a minimum standard of English, with an overall IELTS band score of at least 4.

  1. Parent Category: All applicants included in a Parent Category application need to provide an IELTS certificate that meets at least two competencies at band score 4.

  2. Residence from Work Category: The principal applicant must have an overall band score of at least 5 in the IELTS General or IELTS Academic module. Their partner and children will also need an overall band score of at least 5 in the IELTS General or IELTS Academic module.

FAQs
  1. Where is IELTS held? There are 16 test locations in New Zealand. Many of them are conveniently located in educational institutions.

  2. How is New Zealand PR for Indian? As an Indian willing to settle and work in the least populous country, New Zealand offers you great work opportunities, living standards and different visa categories that you may select depending upon your visa preferences.

As we saw, calculating the PR score for New Zealand PR application is a very complex process with the involvement of many factors. Even though it can be done at home calculating the PR score correctly can be tough sometimes.

This is where MyAdvo comes in. In order to not miss out on any information, it is recommended to get in touch with a lawyer who is well-versed with the PR application process of New Zealand and knows the ground realities of it. Consulting a lawyer will the registration process is hassle-free and smooth.

 

Written by: Pranjal Jain

National Law University Odisha, Cuttack (4th Year)