New Zealand: Skilled Migrant Residence Visa eligibility criteria restricted

The Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa eligibility criteria has been restricted, according to an announcement by the Minister of Immigration. The points threshold for selection has been increased from 140 to 160 (regardless of whether an applicant has a job offer) and some applicants must now complete formal tests to prove their knowledge of the English language.

All other policies, including work and work-to-residence visas, remain unchanged.

UK: Health Surcharge exemption eliminated for Australian and New Zealand nationals

On or after April 6, 2016, Australian and New Zealand nationals seeking to stay in the United Kingdom for more than six months or renewing their visa in country will be required to pay the immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application.  In April 2015, the UK government introduced an Immigration Health Surcharge to all non-EEA nationals, which at the time exempted Australian and New Zealand nationals who were in the United Kingdom for a year or less.

Australian and New Zealand nationals will still not be charged for emergency treatment.

New Zealand: Visa application fees to increase and immigration tax to be introduced December 7

The New Zealand government has announced that some visa fees are set to increase December 7, 2015, and there will be a reduced fee for applicants who use Immigration ONLINE, the online application system. Additionally, a new immigration tax for temporary, limited and resident visas will replace the current tax for approved residence applications.

New Zealand: Policy rewards workers outside of Auckland; clarifies entrepreneur visa criteria

Policy changes effectuated November 1, 2015 to the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and the Entrepreneur Work Visa category support regional development outside of Auckland.  Additionally, the policy changes clarify investment criteria under the Entrepreneur Work Visa category.

Extra Points for Work Outside of Auckland

Applicants under the SMC and Entrepreneur Work Visa categories can obtain additional points under the points-based system if they work or operate a business outside of Auckland. The points award has increased from 10 to 30 under a SMC application and from 20 to 40 for an Entrepreneur Work Visa application