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English language requirements

Being able to speak and understand English is vital for starting a new life in New Zealand.

Everybody aged 16 or over wanting to migrate to New Zealand is therefore required to meet a certain standard of English language.

The minimum standard of English language varies depending on the category under which your residence application is lodged.

Skilled Migrant Category:

Principal applicants meet the minimum standard of English if

  • they can provide an IELTS certificate showing an overall band score of at least 6.5 in the General or Academic Module,
  • their recognised qualification was taught entirely in English,
  • they have been employed in skilled employment in New Zealand for at least 12 months or
  • otherwise meet the minimum standard.

Partners and Children aged 16 and over meet the minimum standard of English if

  • they can provide an IELTS certificate showing an overall band score of at least 5 in the General or Academic Module,
  • their recognised qualification was taught entirely in English,
  • they have been employed in skilled employment in New Zealand for at least 12 months,
  • they have an English speaking background or
  • otherwise meet the minimum standard.**

**by providing evidence which satisfies a visa or immigration officer that, taking account of that evidence and all the circumstances of the application, they are a competent users of English. These circumstances may include but are not limited to:
* the country in which the applicant currently resides;
* the country(ies) in which the applicant has previously resided;
* the duration of residence in each country;
* whether the applicant speaks any language other than English;
* whether members of the applicant's family speak English;
* whether members of the applicant's family speak any language other than English;
* the nature of the applicant's current or previous employment (if any) and whether that is or was likely to require skill in English language;
* the nature of the applicant's qualifications (if any) and whether the obtaining of those qualifications was likely to require skill in the English language

 

Partners and Children who do not meet the above minimum standard of English can pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other Languages tuition (ESOL-tuition), English language courses that can be taken once they have arrived in New Zealand.

The IELTS score determines the amount payable for pre-purchase ESOL tuition (NZ$1,700-6,650). If an IELTS certificate is not supplied, the maximum charge applies.

In any case a visa or immigration officer may require an applicant to provide an IELTS certificate to determine whether the applicant meets the minimum standard of English.

 

Business Categories:

Applicants under the Investor, Entrepreneur, Long Term Business Visa or Employees of Relocating Business categories will need to meet a minimum standard of English.

Principal applicants meet the minimum standard of English if

  • they can provide an IELTS certificate showing an overall band score of at least 5 in the General or Academic Module,
  • they have an English speaking background
  • otherwise meet the minimum standard.

Partners and children aged 16 and over will be able to purchase ESOL tuition.

If the application has been lodged under the LTBV category, partners and children are not required to meet the minimum level of English at the time the LTBV application is lodged, but at a later stage, when the residence application follows.

If you have any questions regarding the English language requirements please contact us now!

 

"Migrants who make this country home are important to New Zealand's heritage, culture and economy" Dept. of Labour 2006


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