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New Zealand

New Zealand

Skilled Migrant Category

If you have skills, qualifications or experience that New Zealand needs you may be able to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

The Skilled Migrant Category is a points system based on factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment. You must also be aged 55 or under, and meet English language, health, and character requirements.

How it works

  • Self Assessment
  • Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
    • If you have 160 points or more you'll be selected from the EOI pool and may be sent an ITA
  • Submit a resident application
  • Receive your visa
    • If successful, you'll be issued a resident visa
Common mistakes to avoid

Skilled Migrant Category applicants often make these mistakes that result in fewer points being recognised:

Qualifications not recognised

If you’re claiming points for your qualifications they need to either be on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment or have been assessed by NZQA.

Work experience not comparable

If you’re claiming points for work experience it must be in the same field as your qualification and job/job offer. If you don’t have a job or job offer then this experience also needs to be in a comparable labour market, in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List or for a multinational company.

Bonus point requirements not met

To claim work experience bonus points you need to meet the strict requirements outlined on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

Long term skill shortage list

The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand.

If you get a job in an occupation on the LTSSL and meet the list requirements, you may be granted a Work to Residence visa under the Long Term Skill Shortage List work visa. This means that you may be eligible to apply for residence in two years, provided you meet standard requirements and that job has a base salary of at least NZ$45,000. Download

Regional skill shortage list

The Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL) includes occupations where skilled workers are required in particular regions of New Zealand and indicates that there are no New 

Zealand citizens or residents available to take up the position. This enables faster processing of the application.

If you are offered a job on the RSSL and meet the list requirements you may be granted an Essential Skills work visa. This means that you are permitted to work in New Zealand temporarily. You won’t necessarily be able to apply for residence.
Download

More information

The content on this page is a summary of what can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website. For comprehensive process and requirements guide visit their website section.

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