New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category

The New Zealand 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 the New Zealand Skilled Migration Process Works

  • You must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • If you have 160 points or more you may receive an Invitation to Apply for a visa
  • You submit a resident visa application
  • Receive your Visa

Requirements needed to apply for a Skilled Visa

There are basic requirements you must meet to apply for this visa. You must:

  • Be invited to apply after lodgement of your EOI (Expression Of Interest)
  • Be younger than 55 years of age when you are invited to apply
  • Work Experience that is skilled
  • Qualifications are recognised by New Zealand Qualifications Authority
  • Meet English language criteria
  • Current Employment or Offer of Employment must be Skilled
  • Score at least 160 on the points test
  • Meet the health and character requirements

Whilst Immigration New Zealand advertise 100 points to be the pass mark, no-one is receiving an invitation unless they gain 160 points. EOI’s with a point score of less than 160 points will not be selected.

Additional Points

You may gain points for current skilled employment in New Zealand, or for an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand. Additional bonus points may be awarded if the skilled employment is:

  • employment outside Auckland
  • in an identified future growth area
  • in an area of absolute skills shortage.

When will I receive my EOI?

Every 2 weeks the New Zealand Department of Immigration selects EOIs from a pool. If your EOI is selected, they will check you’ve claimed the right number of points for your age, experience, employment and qualifications.
If you meet the Skilled Migrant Expression of Interest selection criteria, they may invite you to apply for residence.

EOI is valid for 6 months.

How long does it take to receive my residence?

Your application for Residence will take between 6-10 months from the date of your lodgement.

English Requirements for New Zealand Skilled Migration

  • You will need to provide one of the following:
  • Evidence you’re a citizen of Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America and you have spent at least five years working or studying in these countries, or in Australia or New Zealand.
  • Evidence you have a recognised qualification that’s comparable to a New Zealand Level 7 Bachelor’s Degree which you gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. You must have also studied for at least two years in any of those countries to gain that qualification.
  • IELTS overall score of 6.5 or more
  • TOEFL overall score of 79 or more
  • PTE Pearson Academic overall score of 58 ore more
  • Occupational English Test (OET) Grade B or higher in all four components

I can’t meet the Skilled Visa Criteria for Australia, Is New Zealand easier?

No it is not.  The New Zealand visa system is very similar to Australia’s; if you’re offered a skilled job by a New Zealand employer then they may be able to sponsor your temporary work visa application.  There are also permanent resident options that allow you to stay indefinitely.

Unlike the Australian points-tested skilled category, you will require an offer of employment by a New Zealand employer in a skilled occupation.

Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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