One of the most popular ways for Filipinos to migrate to foreign countries is via the Skilled Migrant Visa. The thing with many Westernized nations is that they have a distinct lack of skilled manual workers (probably because a college diploma and a white-collar job with a fancy title are considered more aspirational in their societies).
So, how do you cash in on the hype? Most importantly, how would you know if you’re eligible for New Zealand’s Skilled Migrant Visa? And if you are, how do you go about things?
Read on and find out.
What Does the Skilled Migrant Visa Allow Me to Do?
This visa enables you to live, work, and study in New Zealand. It also allows you to include your partner as well as any dependent children under the age of 24 in your residence application.
What Are the Requirements?
Generally, those who are aged 55 or younger and whose skills are aligned with the ones New Zealand has a shortage of are the best candidates for this visa. The country has separate lists of in-demand skills for both the immediate future and for the long term, and you can type in your occupation into this database to find out if yours is one of them.
Do note that the New Zealand government refers to a point-based system to assess expressions of interest or EOI’s (more on this later).
Those whose EOI’s have 160 points or more usually end up moving forward.
The more items on this list that apply to you, the more points your EOI can garner. Having been offered skill employment in New Zealand, currently working as a skilled worker in New Zealand, possessing a recognized qualification for your skill set, having close family living in the country, and being with a partner who speaks English at the same level you’re required to can all merit you additional points.
How Do You Apply?
First, check if you meet the requirements (see above.)
Next, submit your expression of interest (EOI) online here. You will need to create an account to be able to do this, but the link for that is also provided on the previously-mentioned URL. While waiting for feedback, you can also check New Zealand Immigration’s Guide to Fees online.
If your EOI scores at least 160 points, you’ll most likely be selected to continue with the application. You’ll receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if this is the case.
You should also receive a form for resident application along with your ITA. This needs to be submitted along with the complete requirements within six months. Refer to the Fees Guide mentioned earlier for the necessary accompanying payments.
The final step, if your application was successful, is to receive your visa. Once approved, you should be issued either a resident visa or a job search visa.
What are the Common Mistakes to Avoid?
To have a more accurate picture of how many points your EOI should get, steer clear of the following application errors:
1. Listing qualifications that may not be recognized.
If your qualifications haven’t been certified in New Zealand, you may want to have them assessed by the International Qualifications Assessment (IQA). They’ll give you a Recognition Statement after the assessment, and you can use it for immigration purposes.
Not doing otherwise may result in your listed qualifications being disregarded and thus not bagging you any points on your application.
2. Citing irrelevant work experience.
Points for work experience are only credited if it applies to the same field as the job being offered to you or to your declared qualification. For instance, having worked on a renovation project for a church will get you points if you’re applying as a construction worker, but not if you’re doing the same for a healthcare position. (Duh.)
As a parting note, be sure not to confuse the Skilled Migrant Visa with the Entrepreneur Resident Visa. The former is best for those who intend to work for a company or for an individual, but if you plan on being self-employed (e.g., a freelance plumber or construction worker), the latter is probably more suitable.