New Zealand Immigration Logo.

Skilled Migrant Category

A resident visa to work in New Zealand indefinitely

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

1. Self assessment

2. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

  • Wait until your EOI is selected from the pool. If you have 140 points you'll be automatically selected
  • If successful, you'll be sent an ITA

4. Submit a resident application

  • Note the fees and offices information
  • Submit your resident application within six months on the form we provide you with

5. Receive your visa

  • If successful, you'll be issued either a resident visa or job search visa

How many points will I need?

If you have 140 points or over your EOI will be selected automatically for an ITA.

If you have 100-135 points you are able to submit an EOI but it may not be selected. In this range, the required number of points varies each fortnightly selection depending on demand. You’re more likely to be successful if you have:

  • A job or job offer for skilled employment, or
  • Claimed bonus points for work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage (see Long Term Skill Shortage List).

To get a better idea of the number of points you may need, view the history of selection points. This webpage is updated after each fortnightly ITA draw.

Immigration New Zealand’s points calculator can help you self-assess your application. The list of points and bonus points is a good way to evaluate how many points you could have if you undertake extra study or work experience, or get offered a job by a New Zealand employer.

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

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 Skilled Migrant Category section.
 

moving to New Zealand

Register your interest

Take the first step to a new life by registering your interest with Immigration New Zealand. We’ll send you personalised emails about job opportunities in your profession, life in New Zealand and choosing the right visa.

 

New Zealand Residence Visa