Laurent Lore
August 2023
Last month the firm launched its new website - still full of good content, but easier to get around and sporting an updated logo.

Of course we are excited about it, but you will be more interested in what is useful to you. Go ahead and have a look around. The website address is still

We have also published profile posts about each of the team, answering questions about themselves and why they do what they do. See the Q&A with

We continue to solve the difficult situations people bring to us. The best way to arrange a meeting is to use our website's online booking system for a video call or a face-to-face meeting.

Simon Laurent
The New Skilled Migrant Residence
Late last year the Government reopened the Skilled Migrant Category ("SMC"), but set a higher points threshold of 180 to narrow down who could apply. That policy closes on 15 August.

To take its place, a new 6-point Skilled Migrant Residence scheme will open on 9 October. It is arguably even more of a challenge to get Residence this way for some people.

You can score the 6 points with a combination of qualifications, work experience, and NZ occupational registration (such as for teachers and doctors). A big change from the old SMC rules is that only work experience gained in New Zealand will count for points. Your overseas career will not directly be taken into account.

Skilled Migrant forms part of the broader "Skilled Residence" collection of policies (yes, the names Immigration has chosen are confusing). These are summarised on our website, but if you want to get a clear idea of whether you can qualify, it is probably better to talk to us about it.
The Good and the Bad of Accredited Employer Work Visas
As part of the rollout of the new Skilled Migrant policy, people who hold Accredited Employer Work Visas ("AEWVs") will be able to apply to extend the visa duration from later on this year.

At present, many AEWVs last for a maximum of 3 years. This can be changed to 5 years by making a simple application, so long as your existing visa conditions match the job that you are actually doing when you apply.

But there will be a catch. At the end of that 5 years you cannot apply for another AEWV to just carry on. There will be a "stand down period" of 12 months, in which you must either leave NZ or switch to something else such as a Student Visa. This has been done deliberately in order to stop people spinning out their stay indefinitely on a temporary visa without moving on to Residence.

What this means is that anyone on an AEWV now, or thinking about applying, needs to find out if they have a pathway to Skilled Residence. If they do not, then simply being here on a Work Visa will become a dead end. It may discourage a number of people from applying to come here in the first place. That probably doesn't do the country much good in the long run, but this is what is coming.
SUCCESS STORY - Family Saved from Deportation
A migrant family of parents and their children applied for Residence in 2019 which was granted about a year later in 2020, . One of the teenage children included in the application had, in the meantime, started a live-in relationship with someone who had come over on a Work Visa. After Residence was granted, the child of the family supported the partner's application for a visa and supplied evidence of their relationship, which is when all the trouble started.

The reason is that, in order to be included in Residence, the child had to be "dependent" - which includes not being in a serious relationship. They got Residence under false pretences, although it was probably because the family didn't appreciate the importance of the change of status, rather than intending to deceive. The truly frightening part is that, as this was a single Residence application, this concealment of information put everyone at risk of being deported, including another child who had settled down to making friends and going to high school.

We represented them in what is often called a "pre-deportation" process by putting forward a case that, despite being deportable, the family should get to stay. They all had a lot to offer, including qualifications, work experience and employment, and achievements at school. It was sufficiently persuasive that a senior manager, using the powers of the Minister of Immigration, cancelled deportation liability for the entire family. The relief they must have felt can only be imagined.

We do a lot of these cases, and succeed with almost all of them. If you know of someone staring down the barrel of deportation, get in touch.