Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another Option to migrate to New Zealand.

New Zealand is always my favourite country for some sentimental reasons. Last visit was few months ago and love to return for another trip down memory lane. It is a home away from home especially my best 'growing' years were spent there amongst best friends.

The high school years to the university years as well as some work experience during those tumultuous period of time will always be remembered.

The proposed Silver Fern Visa

Before being elected as the new government in November 2008, New Zealand’s National Party, headed by current Prime Minister John Key, released plans for changes to the country’s immigration policy.

As part of the proposed changes, the National Government has stated it plans to introduce a new visa category for highly skilled migrants – the Silver Fern Visa. The new visa plans were on hold for a few months until Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman announced, in November 2009, that the Silver Fern Visa should start in April 2010.

According to an Immigration Policy Paper, the government states, “…we will need good policies for attracting the additional skilled workers and immigrants New Zealand needs to fill skills gaps and grow our economy. This makes immigration policy and its implementation critically important to New Zealand’s future”.

What is the Silver Fern Visa?

The visa will be applicable to highly skilled migrants with New Zealand-recognised qualifications, whether those qualifications were obtained in New Zealand or from a country with which New Zealand has a visa-free agreement*.

The purpose of this visa category is to broaden the options for applicants to make a long-term contribution to New Zealand and to provide a pathway to New Zealand residency.

The Silver Fern Visa will allow New-Zealand qualified and visa-free country applicants to enter (or remain in) New Zealand as visitors for the short-term, while seeking permanent employment in highly skilled areas in which New Zealand is experiencing a shortage of skills. These visa holders would be allowed to legally obtain temporary work while seeking highly skilled employment.

As currently planned, the Silver Fern Visa will allow holders a 24-month work visa, through which they will be eligible to apply for permanent residence through either the Skilled Migrant Category or Work to Residence Scheme.

Will I qualify for a Silver Fern Visa?

Because the Silver Fern Visa is not currently official, qualification requirements are at this stage only theoretical and are subject to change. However, under the current strategy plans, requirements for applicants are as follows:

  • Candidates must be competent in the English language
  • Candidates must ensure they ultimately undertake highly skilled work
  • Candidates must meet specified full-time wage requirements
  • Candidates must have a recognised tertiary qualification, including trade qualifications, from a New Zealand institution OR from a country with which New Zealand has a visa-free agreement

*Visa-free agreements

Not all visitors to New Zealand require a visa for entry, though all entrants are required to provide evidence of both onward travel and adequate funds for maintenance. Short-term visitors (three months or less) from the following countries do not need a visa to enter New Zealand:

Andorra Argentina Austria
Bahrain Belgium Brazil
Brunei Bulgaria Canada
Chile Cyprus Czech Republic
Denmark Estonia1 Finland
France Germany Greece5
Hong Kong2 Hungary Iceland
Ireland Israel Italy
Japan Korea (South) Kuwait
Latvia1 Liechtenstein Lithuania1
Luxembourg Malaysia Malta
Mexico Monaco Netherlands
Norway Oman Poland
Portugal3 Qatar Romania
San Marino Saudi Arabia Singapore
Slovak Republic Slovenia South Africa
Spain Sweden Switzerland
United Arab Emirates United States of America4 Uruguay
Vatican City

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