Immigration New Zealand announced changes to the SMC points threshold on Tuesday 11 October. To be drawn from the EOI Pool Draw, Expression of Interests must now have 160 points or more. The new requirements will be applied to all EOI pool draws starting with the EOI pool draw on Wednesday 12 October. Applicants who have already recieved their Invitations to Apply will still be assessed under the previous SMC instructions.

Other changes affecting applicants are the new requirements to prove that principle applicants and their partners (if claiming points for partner qualifications or skilled employment) meet the minimum English language requirements. In the past, applicants were able to provide circumstantial evidence such as letters from employers as proof of meeting the English language requirements. Now, all applicants will be required to sit one of 5 approved English Language Tests (IELTS, Occupational English Test, Cambridge English Test, Pearson Test of English and TOEFL) and obtain the minimum score required for each of these tests. Failure to do so will result in the application for residence being declined.

The only exceptions to the English language test requirement are as follows:

  • citizens of Canada, the Repubic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the USA who have spent at least five yuears in work or education in one of those countries of Australia or New Zealand; or
  • a recognised qualification comparable to a New Zealand level 7 bachelor degree and gained in Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the UK, the USA and New Zealand as a result of study unmdertaken for at least 2 academic years in one or more of those countries; or
  • a recognised qualification comparable to a New Zealand level 8 or above and gained in teh avovementioned countries, where study has been for at least 1 academic year in those countries.

If you have any questions about how these changes affect YOU, contact us for a free 30 minute discussion.