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Resident Visa Application Prioritisation - Salary Threshold

M S Medina made this Official Information request to Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

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From: M S Medina

Dear Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment,

INZ will continue to prioritise people with occupational registration and those earning twice the median wage (currently NZD $51 per hour and NZD $106,080 per year) for SMC and RFW applicants.

My questions are:
1. Does INZ consider the total combined earnings of both partners who are working in NZ and are in the same application?
2. If answer to question 1 is YES, what is the total combined earnings to warrant prioritisation? Is there a minimum earning for each of the partner?
3. If answer to question 1 is NO, what is the basis of INZ on considering ONLY the salary of the principal applicant. A principal applicant may earn NZD $106,080 per year and included an onshore partner who does not work or earns no more than NZD $55,000 per year will be prioritised based on the criteria. Arguably, the applicants who earn between NZD $80,000 and NZD $82,000 (for a combined earning of NZD $162,000) is better to the NZ economy.

I can confirm that we have been living in New Zealand since May 2018.

Yours faithfully,
M S Medina

M S Medina

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From: Dongrui Pang
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear M S Medina

 

Thanks for your query on 9 October regarding salary threshold of Skilled
Migration Category (SMC) visa applications. As you seem to be seeking a
confirmation around the prioritisation criteria for SMC as opposed to
information held by the Ministry, we are treating you query as general
correspondence. The OIA defines ‘official information’ at section 2 which
can be found here:
[1]http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/publi...

 

SMC targets migrants with qualifications and skills that New Zealand
needs. We can confirm that priority will be given to the principal
applicants who have an hourly rate equivalent to or higher than twice the
median wage per hour. This does not apply to the combined income of the
principle applicant and their partner(if any).  Please note that
applicants who hold current occupational registration are also being
prioritised. The prioritisation criteria are in line with the objectives
of the SMC instructions which can be found here
[2]http://inzkit/publish/opsmanual/#66761.htm

 

Immigration instructions at A16.1 set out the order of processing visa
processing applications. You can read more at the following link

[3]http://inzkit/publish/opsmanual/#44854.htm

 

kind regards

 

 

Dongrui Pang

BUSINESS ADVISOR

 

Operations Support, Border and Visa Operations Branch

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

 

[4][email address] | Telephone: +64 (04) 8965320

[5]www.immigration.govt.nz

 

NZBN 9429000106078

 

 

[6]www.govt.nz - your guide to finding and using New Zealand government
services

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/publi...
2. http://inzkit/publish/opsmanual/#66761.htm
3. http://inzkit/publish/opsmanual/#44854.htm
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.immigration.govt.nz/
6. http://www.govt.nz/

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From: M S Medina

Dear Dongrui Pang,

Thank you for your response. I would like to know and understand the basis / rationale on why Immigration New Zealand only considers the salary of the principal applicant.

Yours sincerely,

M S Medina

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From: Dongrui Pang
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear M S Medina

Over the last year, demand for the SMC and Residence from Work (RfW) sub-stream has risen significantly. This has resulted in longer decision times for applicants. To better manage the queue of applications, Immigration New Zealand (INZ), with the endorsement of the previous Minister of Immigration, formalised the priority allocation of some SMC and RfW applications for those earning twice the median wage and those with current occupational registration (where registration is required by Immigration Instructions).

The policy intent is to prioritise people with skills that are unobtainable in New Zealand. It is focused on individuals, with the opportunity for their partner and family to be considered within the application.

Kind regards

Dongrui Pang
BUSINESS ADVISOR

Operations Support, Border and Visa Operations Branch
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

[email address] | Telephone: +64 (04) 8965320
www.immigration.govt.nz

NZBN 9429000106078

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From: M S Medina

Dear Dongrui Pang,

Thank you for your reply but i don't quite get it as an answer to my request - I would like to know and understand the basis / rationale on why Immigration New Zealand only considers the salary of the principal applicant.

I have sent you an email instead and i hope to receive a response from you.

Note: as far as i understand the Immigration Manual A16.1 General Instructions as to the order of processing visa applications -
It does say that priority will be given to Applicants who have an hourly rate equivalent to or higher than twice the median wage (currently $51.00 per hour or an annual salary of $106,080 or more). Having said this, a husband and wife or partners who both have claimed points as skilled and jointly submitted the application are applicants.

it does not explicitly say that priority will be given to the principal applicants who have an hourly rate equivalent to or higher than twice the median wage per hour. This does not apply to the combined income of the principle applicant and their partner(if any).

Yours sincerely,

M S Medina

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From: Dongrui Pang
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear M S Medina

Immigration instructions define 'principal applicant' as the following:

R2.1.1 Definition of 'principal applicant'
a. The principal applicant is the person who is declared to be the principal applicant on the residence class visa application form.
b. When the application is assessed, the principal applicant will be the person first assessed against the criteria in residence instructions, unless the instructions indicate otherwise.

Therefore, the principal applicant is assessed against the prioritisation criteria, because the instructions do not explicitly indicate that the combined income of all applicants.

Kind regards

Dongrui Pang
BUSINESS ADVISOR

Operations Support, Border and Visa Operations Branch
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

[email address] | Telephone: +64 (04) 8965320
www.immigration.govt.nz

NZBN 9429000106078

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From: M S Medina

Dear Dongrui Pang,

Thank you for your response. I should have been more clear - what is the definition of Applicants as mentioned in A16.1 please?

Yours sincerely,

M S Medina

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Marina left an annotation ()

To whom it may concern
I would like to know how far are the WTR applications for us who applied and were lodged in May 2020 ...would you know when we will be allocated a case officer?Must we apply for new work visas now seeing that we have not heard yet from immigration regarding our residency applications and our visas are expiring in March 2021? Please advise .Thank you

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