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

1. Self assessment

  • Check you meet the requirements and calculate your points

Skilled Migrant Category | Immigration New Zealand

2. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

  • If you have 160 points or more you'll be selected from the EOI pool and 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

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.

Get international qualifications recognised for Immigration | 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.

Skill shortage list checker | Immigration New Zealand

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.

Skilled Migrant Category | Immigration New Zealand

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

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.

It’s free and there’s no obligation.

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Page last updated: 12/10/2016

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