We are thrilled to announce that Vandana Rai, Director of Immigration Advisers New Zealand has been selected as one of the finalist in the Immigration Adviser/Lawyer of the Year and Hall of Fame category of awards of NZAMI that are announce once in two years.The significance of the awards that she has been nominated for is as under:
- Immigration Adviser/Lawyer of the Year Category – This award recognises outstanding professional individuals who are a Licensed Immigration Adviser or Immigration Lawyer who enhance the migration profession, and have contributed to the industry by their notable work in assisting migrants during the last 3 years.
- Hall of Fame Category – This is a rare acknowledgement of a worthy recipient within the Immigration industry.This award is presented to an individual who has provided continuing service and participation in a field which contributes to New Zealand immigration, made a significant and noteworthy contribution to New Zealand immigration which should be recognised by their peers and the wider community.
Vandana Rai has been part of 2016 Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) referral group in addition to being one of the Directors on the Board of the New Zealand Association of Migration and Investment (NZAMI) for 2017. She is well known within the industry for her contribution to the well being and support of International students, by way of giving not only a range of immigration advisory services but also pastoral care support. In last 2 years Vandana Rai has lodged more than 1400 visas with an approval rate close to 93%.
She is highly educated, having done Masters in Human Development as well as Masters in Business Administration apart from a PG Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice.
Vandana, in her role as a member of 2016 Referral Group of Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) championed the cause of making offshore licensing mandatory. Vandana Rai, as a director of NZAMI has also made her contribution concerning the assessment of Partnership-Based Visa applications in the Indian market. She has also done lot of spade work over the past 2 years on the partnership based applications who were character declined due to having received unlicensed Immigration Advice and has got character waiver approved for a number of clients, thereby assisting in their family reunification.
Vandana is humbled by this achievement and says that her strength lies in her team , which works unbelievably hard and is the main reason behind this success.
For the full list and more information about these awards, visit the NZAMI website.
As per Education New Zealand ( link provided below) Providers, agents and international students need to be aware that all banks in New Zealand are now required to collect additional information from international students before they can open an account in New Zealand.
As a result of the Global Tax Information Reporting and Anti Money Laundering campaign, all banks in New Zealand, as well as other financial institutions, are required by law to collect additional information from a foreign tax resident before they can open an account in New Zealand. As part of these changes, banks also require a certified copy of (or, in some cases, the original) the student’s passport (bio-page) and proof of current residential address. Those who apply to open a bank account while outside New Zealand will be required to provide proof of their current overseas residential address, and to present themselves at the bank to activate the account when they arrive in New Zealand.
The same changes are being implemented in other countries that are part of this global initiative.
These changes also apply to international students who intend to use INZ’s Funds Transfer Scheme (FTS) to transfer their funds to New Zealand. Note the FTS is only available to international students from certain countries.
If applying for an account under the FTS in the near future, ANZ, the New Zealand bank that operates the FTS, may contact the student to complete additional forms to ensure they capture the additional information they require. These forms include questions around the student’s tax information, and the student themselves will need to complete and sign these forms (not their agent).
For FTS accounts only, acceptable proof of residential address includes:
- utility bill (e.g. landline telephone and power only)
- rates bill (e.g. property tax document)
- tax certificate
- insurance policy document
The document(s) listed above must be less than three months old and must state the student’s name and their residential address. Where the student is living with their parents and the document states their parents’ name(s), a parent whose name appears on the document must provide a letter stating that the student lives with them.
Note: there may be some delays visa application processing while Immigration New Zealand and ANZ work through these changes.
Link – https://enz.govt.nz/news-and-research/ed-news/international-students-affected-by-bank-changes/
Why are so many Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted) applications of International students being declined in Auckland, New Zealand?
Concerns Identified resulting into declined applications
As per the media reports there has been a sudden spike in the number of applications declined, which had been lodged under Post Study Employer Assisted Work Visa category. Going by the feed back and experience the major reason (s) for the declines have been as under:
- The applicant was unable to satisfy immigration officer that the offer of employment provided practical experience, which was relevant to the qualification.
- The applicant did not hold an offer of full-time employment relevant to that qualification.
- The major subject area and level of the applicant’s qualification was not directly applicable to the employment.
- The qualification was not a key factor in the employer’s decision to employ the applicant in that position.
- There was no clear link visible between the qualification studied by the applicant and the job description provided.
Way forward and precautions to be taken
The way forward and precautions required to be taken to minimise the risks of getting a negative outcome for such applications lodged could be as under:
- Ensure that the major subject area and level of qualification is directly applicable to the employment.
- Ensure that the qualification is a key factor in employer’s decision to employ the applicant in that position.
- Ensure that there is a clear link existing between the qualification and the job description.
- Ensure that the tasks being performed in the job are relevant to papers studied as part of the qualification.
- Ensure that the learning outcomes of the subjects studied are relevant to the day to day work being performed in the job.
- Job description should mention tasks that are directly applicable to the learning outcome of the qualification.
Should you still get a Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) from Immigration case officer, please be rest assured that Immigration is now posturing itself to decline your application, hence give it the attention it deserves and book an appointment by mailing at email@example.com
DO NOT TRY AND ANSWER THE PPI RESPONSE YOURSELF SEEK AN IMMIGRATION ADVISER ASAP
Last week the Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has released the draft New Zealand International Education Strategy for consultation. The final date for the consultations to close is 31 August 2017, and a final strategy is expected to be published later this year. The Government through this consultation process is now hoping to get a series of feedbacks from various stake holders about how the proposed strategy aligns with its priorities.
The draft strategy per se sets out the government’s proposed vision, goals and immediate priorities for international education through to 2025.It also quite clearly endeavours to squarely bring the focus on ensuring that New Zealand continues to genuinely benefit from international education within the regulated boundaries that ensure quality education and student wellbeing.
The main inputs for this draft have been provided by the sector itself, including an online survey and a series of workshops in 2016. The draft strategy sits within the Government’s broader strategic direction for education and the economy and aligns and reflects the Trade Agenda 2030, the Business Growth Agenda, the Tertiary Education Strategy and the New Zealand Curriculum’s focus on international capabilities. An effort has also been made to seek alignment with the other related strategies including the Tourism Strategy and Education System Digital Strategy.
A quick analysis of the draft strategy indicates that the relentless efforts of various associations like NZAMI have ultimately paid off, and the Government has not only recognised the need to clarify the support given by various agencies but also taken steps to ensure that regulatory levers are aligned. However, what remains to be seen is how effective the implementation be in context of the lessons learnt in the last few years around previous such strategies and policies.
It is quite apparent that the immediate priorities, which are laid out in the draft strategy are likely spin offs from what has gone wrong in the last few years, and the fact remains that the recognition of these priorities has been there in the environment for some time now. Therefore, one can only hope that the timing of this strategy is right and the Government will be able to achieve the goal it has set for itself.
Immigration New Zealand has announced changes that will have significant effect on the labour market contribution of migrants in terms of where they work, which industries they work in, the proportion who work or receive income support, and their earnings and sources of income. These changes will come into effect on 14 August 2017, and these changes will impact some people in low paid employment.
The highlights of changes in policy are as under:
- More emphasis will be put on characteristics associated with better outcomes.For example jobs that are currently considered skilled renumeration threshold is being set at $48,859.00 a year while jobs that are currently not being considered skilled but are well paid the remuneration threshold is being set at $73,299.00
- More points will be available for skilled work experience and some recognised post graduate qualifications, and points for age will increase for applicants aged 30-39.
- 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 and for close family in New Zealand.
ESSSENTIAL SKILLS WORK VISA
In addition to the above New Zealand Government is also consulting on changes to temporary migration settings to manage the number and settlement expectations of new migrants coming to New Zealand on Essential Skills work visas.
Three years Criteria
Introduction of a maximum duration of three years for lower-skilled Essential Skills visa holders, after which there will be a minimum stand down period before they can apply for another lower-skilled Essential Skills visa.Three years has been proposed as the maximum duration for lower-skilled Essential Skills work visas because maximum duration of three years provides a balance between giving visa holders the opportunity to transition to a more highly-skilled Essential Skills visa or obtain residence, while also ensuring that migrants with no pathway to residence do not become well-settled in New Zealand. It also provides employers with sufficient time to recruit new staff or up skill existing staff to fill the role.
Restricting Partners and Children
New Zealand Government is restricting the ability of partners and children of lower-skilled migrant workers to come to New Zealand in order to reinforce the temporary nature of the visa and reduce expectations of settlement from temporary migrants with no pathway to residence. Lower skilled Essential Skills workers would take up employment in New Zealand with a full understanding that they would not be able to bring their family. Partners and children would still be able to come to New Zealand as a visitor and will only gain a work or student visa if they meet visa requirements in their own right.