How to Apply Under New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category


How to Apply Under New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category

The New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category is a points-based New Zealand resident visa program designed for skilled workers and professionals who may wish to migrate, work and live on a permanent basis in New Zealand. All who intend to apply under this visa category must first submit an Expression of Interest. Such must have scored at least 100 points in the points test. The Expression of Interests submitted with be pooled, out which selections are made fortnightly. Those who score 160 points or more will be issued an Invitation to Apply for permanent resident visa. Visa applications are possible only after an Invitation to Apply has been received. All Expression of Interests stay in the pull for a maximum of 6 months.

Eligibility Requirements

The following are the requirements for all who must qualify for the Skilled Migration to New Zealand under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)

  1. Applicant must be between ages 20 and 55 years
  2. Applicant must have scored up to 100 points or more
  3. Applicant must have satisfied all health, character and English language requirements
  4. Applicant must submit an Expression of Interest to migrate to New Zealand
  5. Applicant must have been invited for resident visa before proceeding to submit a visa application (Effective from October 12, only those who score 160 points or more will be invited to apply)
  6. Applicant must proceed to submit visa application after receiving an ITA
  7. Applicant is expected to abide by all settlement and contribution requirements before visa application can be approved.

Points are given for age, experience, education and skilled employment in New Zealand. Also recognized relevant work experience and close family relative who are living in New Zealand attracts more points. There are bonus points for skilled employment outside Auckland or in locations known as ‘future growth areas’ or in areas of ‘absolute skill shortages’ and also for the qualification an applicant’s partner in new Zealand may have.

Application Outcome

All applicants who have been able to secure a skilled job offer in New Zealand will be granted a resident visa. Others may be interviewed to ascertain their eligibility for certain contributory and settlement requirements. The interview outcome may result in any of the following:

  1. Resident visa application gets approved; or
  2. Resident visa application is put on hold while an SMC job search visa is issued to you to travel to New Zealand to find and secure a job offer; or
  3. Resident visa application gets declined.

Recent Changes

Right from the 12th of October 2016, Expression of Interests with scores up to 160 and more will be selected for ITA. Other sub-criteria for selection for these will be removed automatically.

Review of SMC Policy

The government of New Zealand has announced a comprehensive review of the Skilled Migrant Category policy. A new policy is expected somewhere in the middle of 2017.


Do you want to apply for the New Zealand visa under the Skilled Migrant Category? Visas and Work Permits provide an all-in-one immigration service that advises and helps you from scratch to finish. We will help take care of your eligibility, application as well as ensure your visa approval is expedited.

Visas and work Permits are also experts in all Canadian consultancy immigration including free Canadian visa eligibility assessment, British Columbia investor immigration, UAE visa for Canadian permanent residents, investor visas, study visa and partner visas. You can contact our immigration agents in Canada by submitting a free online visa assessment. One of our agents will get back to you shortly.

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