How NZ Skilled Migrant Category Works


How NZ Skilled Migrant Category Works

What is Skilled Migrant Category and How Does It Work?

The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is basically a point based policy by the New Zealand Government to grant people who wish to live permanently in New Zealand the opportunity to obtain a permit. Someone who would love to apply for residency under the SMC must first submit an expression of Interest (EOI) to the immigration authorities of New Zealand and must have enough points from factors such as qualifications, work experience, job offers in New Zealand etc. A draw is done fortnightly by Immigration New Zealand to select EOIs based on the total points accrued. Those who are successful are given an Invitation to Apply. All applicants are rated with the same criteria and must be in good health, character and language standing.

What is Changing, When?

There are currently two changes effected on the Skilled Migrant Category so far:

  • The total points needed to qualify for an ITA has been raised from 140 to 160 from October 12, 2016. This is regardless of whether there is a job offer or not
  • The mode of showing evidence that applicants meet the minimum standard of English Language proficiency has changed too

This is however nothing to panic about. With the right New Zealand immigration consultants guiding you, you should be able to score well over the minimum points required.

What is happening with the Skilled Migrant Category Points Threshold and Why?

Before now, only 140 points is required for selection for ITA and when a candidate has a job offer, only about 100-139 points were needed to be selected for ITA. However, right now, 160 points are needed and this is regardless of job offers or not. This is to ensure that the number of Skilled Migrants that will be given resident visas for 2016/2017 will remain within the range targeted.

Why the Change?

As you may know, many people migrate to New Zealand yearly. Each year, this number keeps increasing. New Zealand has become a popular destination for many Skilled Migrants. In order to effectively manage the demand, the government has set a target range for the Skilled/Business stream of the NZRP for 2016/2017 and 2017/18 to 50,500-57,500. So if Immigration New Zealand is to continue to select EOIs using the former thresholds, there will be more people who will qualify, which will exceed the target range set.

Is the New Points Threshold of 160 Points Permanent?

No. This numbers can be adjusted as necessary in order to manage the achievement of the overall target set for the New Zealand Residence programme.

With these new developments, the smart thing to do is to employ reputable visa agents in Dubai to help you review your profile. There are many visa agencies in Dubai but make sure you check out for the reputable ones.


Visas and Work Permits are reliable, having helped many to reach their New Zealand dreams. You can entrust your dreams to us and we will guide you and make sure there are no errors in your application. Our agents know how to upgrade your profile in order to raise your points score. We have steady online immigration consultant who could attend to your case any time or better still, you can fill up our free online visa assessment form, one of our agents will get back to you shortly.

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