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Extra bonus points – Skilled Migrant Residence policy change

As of 1 November 2015, an offer of skilled employment or your current skilled employment outside the Auckland region gives you 30 bonus points towards your residence application under the Skilled Migrant category. Before 1/11/15, a skilled job outside Auckland counted for 10 bonus points. 

This is good news, and the even better news is that if you have already lodged your Expression of Interest (EOI) or your actual residence application before 1/11/15, INZ will add the extra 20 points to your existing application. 

Is it worth moving out of Auckland to get these extra points? Clients are asking me this and my view is – possibly not.
I find many migrants think they MUST have 140 points in order to lodge their EOI, but this is not correct. 

It’s true that when selecting an EOI from the “pool” every 2 weeks, INZ first pick applicants who score 140 points or more. 

However, INZ give their next priority to applicants who score 100 – 139 points and have an offer of skilled employment , or current skilled employment in New Zealand. 
If you are in either of the 2 groups, your chance of being selected is excellent, assuming your skilled employment meets the ANZSCO criteria for that occupation. 

Here is a link to the latest INZ selection which illustrates this point.
Insert link to latest INZ EOI selection
If you are an international student who has graduated with a New Zealand qualification (40 points), are under the age of 30 years (30 points), has an offer of skilled employment (50 points), a year’s relevant NZ work experience (5 bonus points) you already have sufficient points (total of 125) to be selected from the EOI pool on your first selection.  And if you can increase your points score to 140 or above, you will reach the threshold for automatic selection from the pool. 

As such, extra bonus points for a job outside Auckland will not make the difference to your EOI being selected. 

Still, that does not mean you should stay in Auckland. Not everybody likes the big city!
I have clients living in smaller cities in New Zealand and they report that they like living in a smaller town or city. The lifestyle is more laid back and for many locals and migrants it is preferable to the noise, people, higher cost of living, and heavy traffic of Auckland. 

Also, it is likely that you will have fewer migrants to compete with for available jobs, thus more opportunities.

There are also informal reports that it is quicker to get your residence application processed at INZ branches outside Auckland.  I have not necessarily found it to be true, as it depends on the applicant’s health, employment, overseas work references etc, and these days INZ move applications around to different branches to spread the work load. 

I can work with you if you live in another town or city in New Zealand, or if you live overseas. It is not necessary to come to my office in Auckland, although I always enjoy meeting my clients face to face!

One note of warning
Immigration New Zealand has signalled that if you claim 30 bonus points for your job outside Auckland and are granted your residence on this basis, you MAY not be able to quit and find a new job in Auckland for at least 12 months after being granted your residence,IF you were in your job for less than 3 months, or were granted residence based on an offer of a job outside Auckland. 

In other words, you would have to be doing the job for more than 3 months before applying for your EOI in order to avoid the above limitation.