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New English Language Requirements


From mid-October 2016, the new English language requirements have come into force.

Requirements from Principle Applicants

Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category meet the minimum standard of English if they provide acceptable English language test results, as set out in a seperate blog on the same subject, (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged)

Other evidence that a Principle Applicant meets the minimum standard of English is

Citizenship of Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America, provided the applicant has spent at least five years in work or education in one or more of those countries or Australia or New Zealand; or

A recognized qualification* comparable to a New Zealand level 7 bachelor’s degree and gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America as a result of study undertaken for at least two academic years in one or more of those countries; or

A recognized qualification* comparable to a New Zealand qualification at level 8 or above and gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America as a result of study undertaken for at least one academic year in one or more of those countries. In any case, an immigration officer may require a principal applicant to provide an English language test result as explained in a blog on the new English language tests.In such cases, the English language test result will be used to determine whether the principal applicant meets the minimum standard of English language.

English language requirements for non-principal applicants

Unless partners qualifications or skilled employment points are claimed, partners and dependent children aged 16 and older, who are included in Skilled Migrant Category applications, must:

show that they meet a minimum standard of English to enable successful settlement in New Zealand; or Pre-purchase ESOL training.

Non-principal applicants meet the minimum standard of English if they provide English language test results, as mentioned in our blog "going beyond IELTS" (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged).

Other evidence that a non-principal applicant meets the minimum standard of English is:

Citizenship of Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America, provided the applicant has spent at least five years in work or education in one or more of those countries or Australia or New Zealand; or

A recognized qualification* comparable to a New Zealand level 7 bachelor’s degree and gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America as a result of study undertaken for at least two academic years in one or more of those countries; or

A recognized qualification* comparable to a New Zealand qualification at level 8 or above and gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America as a result of study undertaken for at least one academic year in one or more of those countries.

In any case, an immigration officer may require a non-principal applicant to provide an English language test result as outlined in the points table available on the blog "Going beyond IELTS" . In such cases, the English language test result will be used to determine whether the applicant meets the minimum standard of English

* Please note that recognized qualification has specific meaning and there is a criterion related to which qualifications are recognized or not

** Here is a table from our other blog post

https://www.livinginnz.co.nz/single-post/2016/11/13/Going-beyond-IELTS

This information is being posted by a private business, we are not a part of Immigration New Zealand and we charge for our services. Please don't take this information as specific advise as this information may not be current or accurate. We take no responsibility and accept no liability in any way arising out of your use of this information.


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