I just decided to check selection statistics of EOIs under the Skilled Migrant Category. You can do it yourself just take a look at this pdf by Immigration New Zealand. Well, the main conclusion that can be drawn is that the initial idea of Skilled Migrant Category is dead.

There is no way how you can earn 160 points if you did not study in New Zealand or do not have a job offer. It's almost impossible to receive a job offer if you are not in New Zealand!

Let me explain why is that so:

New Zealand is a country of small businesses. Of course, there are several huge companies with HR-departments which can afford to spend some time in waiting for someone from abroad and they still be ok in that transient period. If you are a small business in most cases you want someone to work with here and now. You should be sure that the person you are planning to work with will be a good team member. You and your colleagues need to see him and say something like "yes, we definitely can work with him" and not like "he should be ok". Skype is not a solution here. You need to invite that person to your office where you can explore each other. Each person is incredibly valuable and is not considered as a "resource" (as it is happening in huge companies). It's incredibly important for small businesses to have the team spirit!

What is happening right now? Skilled Professionals who want to move to New Zealand have to include an extra step to their immigration process, i.e. they need to have some study courses which they don't really need! That is exactly why we have so much onshore EOIs with job offers. Who are these people? How did they get to New Zealand. I can see the only way - they studied here.

I'm working in IT-industry and can see that there is a lack of good specialists. New Zealand suffers of that. Skilled Migrant program is not working for skilled people anymore it's working only for those who studied in New Zealand. Should it be renamed to "Studied in New Zealand Category"? May be that is the plan!