The latest announcement of changes in New Zealand’s immigration policy by the immigration minister Michael Woodhouse, earlier today, has created more stir than disseminating accurate information.

While experts analyse the possible implications of this ministerial announcement, Indian Weekender brings together five main things for all prospective Indian migrants in New Zealand.

1. Changes comes into effect in mid-August 2017

Despite an immediate panic among a large number of temporary migrants already in the country on a work visa, all the changes announced today by the Minister would be implemented in mid-August 2017.

2. Points for education in New Zealand poised to decrease

Lately, the pathway from international education to permanent residency in New Zealand had been at the centre anti-immigration sentiments. An increasing number of people and politicians, alike, have been overtly critical about the pathway from international education to permanent residency.

Today’s announcement seems to be placating those growing sentiments against supposedly “easy” pathway from international education to permanent residency. The Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website says “More points will be available for skilled work experience and some recognised post graduate qualifications.”   

3. Points for skilled work experience to supersede points for education in New Zealand

From what is coming out from the recent changes, it is becoming clear that preference would be given to skilled work experience than gaining an international education in New Zealand.

Extra points will no longer be available for qualifications in areas of absolute skills shortage, for employment, work experience and qualifications in Identified Future Growth Areas.

A quick reading of this announcement would suggest that as more number of Indians have been taking the route of international education to permanent residency in New Zealand than seeking direct immigration through skilled immigration category, so the total number of Indians succeeding in settling in New Zealand would take an immediate hit in short to medium term.

4. No Points for close family in New Zealand

The applicants will not get any points for having a close family member in New Zealand. Currently, there are 10 points for this category. It means prospective applicants with close family members residing currently in New Zealand have a window of another three months till mid-August to use those valuable 10 points.

5. Points for age will increase for applicants aged 30-39

The INZ website says that the points for applicants for permanent residency will be increased for the applicants between the ages 30-39 years.

It is yet not clear how much will be the increase in points and if it would be more than the current points allocated for the age group between 20-29 years, but there are hints that "experience" and "skilled work experience" would be given more preference than youth and international education. 

6. Partners of people on Essential Skills Work Visa will not get an open work visa

In a move affecting many prospective immigrants to New Zealand, now partners and dependents of workers on Essential Work Visa can only enter New Zealand on a visitor visa. Earlier, many workers like chefs in the food industry, who use to remain on essential skills work visa without being eligible for permanent residency because of their English language skills were able to bring their families on an open work visa.

Now with their own Essential Work Visa being a ticking time-bomb and their spouses denied an open work visa, it is going to be increasingly difficult for them to enter and work in New Zealand.