New immigration requirements were introduced on 12 October 2016. Everybody must have IELTS L.6.5 before applying to the pool now, while before an employee could be hired on the strength of his/her skills for one year and then apply for residence. Pool application for residence by Essential Skills category requires 160 points in order to be invited to apply for residence. (It was 140 if applying from overseas and 100 if you are working by your qualification in New Zealand). Points Checker on the NZ Immigration website.
JPC Immigration Adviser Olia Essina comments:
Companies employing overseas trade workers have a way to assist their employees by approaching Immigration NZ for accreditation, that allows an employee to move from a work visa to a residence visa. (There is no “MUST DO” English test in such an application and NO POINTS SYSTEM).
We can assist with this application, feel free to contact us.