Skilled Migrant Visa In New Zealand

This is the first part of a three-part series on Skilled Migrant Visa in New Zealand (subsequent parts to follow) where I will discuss various aspects of this visa category in detail.

One of the permanent residence visa classifications is for highly skilled individuals who have a job offer from a New Zealand based employer. This type of visa is called the Skilled Migrant Category or the SB (subclass 188) Visa.

The skilled migrant visa category spans across the full spectrum of professions, ranging from an occupation at skill level one to those requiring highly specialised skills at skill level eight. Highly skilled migrants should be in a position to make a positive contribution to New Zealand, and should prove that they have the skills and competence required to be economically active in New Zealand.

Skilled Migrant Visa In New Zealand

Update (01/04/15): Recent changes to the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and points pass mark have led to the SMC becoming very competitive. It has become even harder to reach the pass mark that is required to apply for residence under this category.

The Skilled Migrant Pathway to Residence

The Skilled Migrant Category is the most popular visa pathway to residence in New Zealand for migrants and their families.

PLEASE NOTE: A REVIEW IS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY OF THE SKILLED MIGRANT CATEGORY. THIS PATHWAY WILL BE REOPENED LATER IN 2022 AFTER APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2021 RESIDENT VISA CLOSE ON 31 JULY.

Move to New Zealand and live here indefinitely.

A resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category will allow you to live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely and you can include your partner and your dependent children aged 24 and under.

This visa policy is based on a points system that factors in multiple elements considered to be employability and settlement indicators.

Applicants submit an online Expression of Interest to start the process of becoming a New Zealand resident.

A job offer is usually required to meet the points threshold and to proceed to the next step of the visa application process, the actual Resident Visa Application.

Once you are a permanent resident of New Zealand you will be able to move between jobs and are free to choose any work you like.

Our Fusion Service will provide you with the support you will need to successfully complete this process.

Live in NZ

Work in NZ

Bring Family to NZ

Study in NZ

Do you want to become a permanent resident in New Zealand?

The pathway to permanent residence under the Skilled Migrant Category is complex.

The SMC resident visa application process formally consists of two main stages:

  • the Expression of Interest and
  • the actual Residence Visa Application.

In some cases an external assessment of the applicant’s qualifications by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, NZQA, will be necessary as well, and for certain professions registration with the professional body in charge might be required.

However, in practice the process of becoming a permanent resident under the SMC policy is a lot more complicated than that

At NZIC we can help you navigate the pathway to becoming a skilled migrant under the SMC policy.

“NZIC guided me all the way through getting my first work visa to permanent residency. Their job seeking support was key when I first arrived in NZ, communication was always easy and clear. I’m very thankful for their help and definitely recommend their services.”
____

A.F (Canada)

The Residence Visa Application Process under the Skilled Migrant Category policy:

STAGE 1:

Expression of Interest (EOI)

In your online Expression of Interest you will claim points for your qualifications, work experience, age etc. All Expressions of Interest received will be ranked from highest to lowest points and placed into a Pool.

Every fortnight Immigration New Zealand selects the Expressions of Interest with the highest point scores from the Pool. This process is called Selection.

While the SMC policy states that the minimum requirement for submitting an EOI is at 100 points, the points score that is actually necessary for an Expression of Interest to be selected from the Pool has been set at 160.

This means that all Expressions of Interest with a points score of 160 or more will automatically be selected.

Expressions of Interest that have been successfully selected from the Pool will undergo a preliminary assessment, where Immigration New Zealand will check the credibility of the information provided by you in your EOI.

STAGE 2:

Residence Application

At the start of this second stage of the application process, your application for a Resident Visa will be submitted to Immigration New Zealand, including all documents proving the point claims made in the Expression of Interest.

Once your resident visa application has been lodged, Immigration New Zealand will assess it against Government residence policy. They will also look at your potential to settle successfully and make a real contribution to New Zealand’s social and economic development.

The assessment against settlement and contribution requirements will take into consideration the application as a whole, including information gained at interview, if an interview is conducted.

Depending on how well you are able to demonstrate your ability or potential to successfully settle in New Zealand, your application may be approved and you will be granted a Resident Visa, or you may instead be granted a Work Visa, which will enable you to establish yourself in skilled employment in New Zealand, or your application may be declined.  

Leave a Comment