Jayne and Sean's Experience
I've had a running conversation with Jayne and Sean which resulted in this feedback from them. I can't personally vouch for the information (and I'm sure they don't want to) but it sounds about right. I have made some minor changes to the wording so typos may be mine.
I'm not sure if you want to add this bit, but the easiest way to get in is to get in as Skilled Labour. I've so far not hit a part on the skilled labour form that asks you about money in the bank. The process goes something like, you need:
- A passport
- Birth certificate number
- Full or pre-assessment of college degrees
- A skill that fits into a labour shortage category, future area of growth category (ie: IT), or belong to a "cluster" (there are four companies listed)
- Be under 55
If you don't have a 4 year or better college degree, or another certificate (nurse, mechanic, etc), it's probably not worth going this route.
You then fill out an Expression of Interest. You cannot file it until you've reached 100 points. It costs approx NZ$335. Note that this is what it takes to get into the pool and they draw from the top, so if you have 100 points, you will probably not get drawn within the 3 months. After 3 months, you must refile your Expression of Interest (and pay for it again). To go this route most successfully, you will need a job offer. This is worth 100 points, so along with the other things, it will almost guarantee being picked. The cost is per application rather than per person. You can receive points for a partners skills, so if you both have university degrees (usually 50 pts for a 4 year) you're set.
Assuming you are accepted, you will need:
- NZ$550 to file an application
- A full assessment of your college degrees - approx NZ$400
- A criminal background check by the FBI - file this now I filed two months ago and am still waiting
- A medical exam
Keep in mind that the order in which you actually do these things (as opposed to when you need them) is different. The medical exam expires in 2 months, so it shouldn't be the first thing you do. However, some processes take a very long time and you should initiate them long before they are necessary. A full assessment (about 2 months) is one of them, though we've chosen not to do this (we got a pre-assessment) as you can expedite the assessment for $150 NZD. Hopefully this will not come to bite us in the ass.
All the forms and lists I mentioned are available on the NZ immigration site, except for the assessments, which are handled by the NZQA. I also assumed that there are not extranneous issues such as non-english native language, proving common-law marriage, children, etc.