Migrant English standards reduced
4:00AM Tuesday Mar 17, 2009
By Lincoln Tan

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman

New Zealand will not follow Australia's lead in cutting immigration, but instead make it easier for business and investor migrants to come, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said yesterday.

English language requirements would be lowered and minimum investments would be brought to "more realistic levels", Mr Coleman said.

He said changing the requirements in light of the present economic climate was a priority for the Government, and would come into effect within "months, rather than years".

Under current policy set by the Labour Government, which took effect in November 2007, an investor bringing in $2.5 million needs to be under 54, and have IELTS level 5. Someone bringing in $10 million needs at least IELTS level 4 and be under 64. Age and language limits were only waived for immigrants who invested at least $20 million.

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