Skilled Migration

The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) offers you the opportunity to move to New Zealand to work and live permanently.

To be eligible for residence under SMC you must:

  • be 55 or under
  • be healthy
  • be of good character
  • speak English.

To decide if you can apply, check the points system. You get points for age, experience, employability and qualifications.

There are two steps:

You complete an Expression of Interest, about yourself, your family, your skills and your experience.

If you have enough points, INZ will accept your Expression of Interest, and send you an Invitation to Apply (ITA). You complete it, and return it with your supporting documents.

Overview of the Skilled Migrant Category

1. Requirements

To apply under the Skilled Migrant Category, you must meet the requirements. You need to be aged 55 or under. You also have to meet the standards of health, character, and English language ability before you start the process.

2. The Expression of Interest

This is the first step towards making an application. If you qualify, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), in which you claim points for skills, experience, and other factors.

3. The EOI pool and the pool draw

If you have claimed 100 points or more on your EOI, you can submit it into the Pool. Every fortnight, all EOIs over 140 points are automatically selected for an invitation to apply (ITA). After this, lower scoring EOIs with certain factors, such as skilled employment in New Zealand, are selected.

4. Invitation to Apply

Once your EOI is drawn from the pool, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) examine it and if find it credible, INZ will send you an ITA. You will have to show proof of the claims made on your EOI. This means medical and police certificates, proof of English language ability, and documentation regarding your skills, experience, and other factors.

The application form contains the information that you provided in your EOI. You will check the information and return it to INZ with your documentation.

The date that you make your SMC residence application with Immigration New Zealand determines the criteria that your application will be assessed against. The criteria that was current when you submitted your EOI, or current when your EOI was selected from the pool, is not necessarily the criteria that your SMC residence application will be assessed against.

5. Full assessment

Once INZ receives your application and documents, they start assessing your application for residence. INZ will make sure that you meet all our requirements, and that your points claims are valid.

INZ will also assess you on your ability to settle in New Zealand successfully. They may consider you able based on your application, or INZ may wish to interview you.

6. Resident visas and Job Search visas

If you meet the criteria, and believe you will settle successfully and contribute to New Zealand, INZ will offer you a resident visa.

If INZ thinks you have potential, but want to see how you settle, INZ will give you a job search visa, which you can use to help obtain an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand for up to nine months. If you obtain skilled employment in this time you will have shown your ability to settle and contribute, and your residence application will be approved.

Please remember that an SMC Job Search visa is an opportunity to seek skilled employment in New Zealand. It is not a guarantee of work, a job offer, or of residence. Immigration New Zealand advises against the sale of assets, the termination of children's schooling, and the shipping of household items to New Zealand until an applicant's residence status is fully approved.

To learn about the point system, click here and check the points indicator

Source: Immigration New Zealand