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Skilled Migrant Category: Pathway to Permanent Residence in New Zealand

Do you possess skills that could benefit New Zealand? Are you looking to relocate to New Zealand permanently? We have the expertise to help you navigate the intricacies of the NZ skilled migrant residence visa category to help you achieve your goals.

How the Points System works for NZ Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

The NZ skilled migrant category is a points-based system where you must meet the required points requirement to be eligible to apply. You must have a job or a job offer in New Zealand with an Immigration New Zealand accredited employer to apply.

You can only claim points from two options. You can claim 3 to 6 points from ONE of the below:

  • New Zealand occupational registration
  • Qualification (Bachelor’s degree or higher)
  • Income from your job or job offer

AND a further 1-3 points can be claimed for skilled work experience in New Zealand – 1 point for each year in NZ.

Other key information

  • Only available to those 55 years and under.
  • Offers of employment MUST come from an Accredited Employer in New Zealand.
  • You can include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your residence application.
  • You may need to come to New Zealand first on an Accredited Employer Work Visa ( to gain points for work experience in New Zealand.
  • You must meet Immigration New Zealand’s character and medical requirements.
  • You must first submit an expression of interest (EOI). If your EOI is accepted, you will be invited to apply.

Pathway to Permanent Residence

You will initially be granted a 2-year indefinite resident visa with travel conditions. After holding the visa for 2 years you become eligible to apply for permanent residence, subject to meeting the criteria.

Contact us today to discuss your options and begin the process of obtaining residence in New Zealand. Our experienced team is here to answer your questions and provide personalised guidance every step of the way.


Do I need to have a job to apply for a skilled migrant visa?

Yes, you must have a job or a job offer in New Zealand to apply. Your employment must be with an accredited employer and either full-time and permanent, for a fixed term of at least 12 months or a contract for services of at least 6 months.

How do I gain points for my income?

Income points are based on the median wage, which is reviewed and adjusted yearly. It’s important to note that changes in the median wage could affect the points you are eligible for. For example, you might meet the requirements for a certain number of points in one year, but an increase in the median wage the following year could mean you would lose points. To avoid this, it’s advisable to apply as soon as you are eligible to ensure that potential changes won’t affect your application. Points are awarded for 1.5x, 2x, and 3x the median wage.

My current visa is expiring can I continue to stay in New Zealand while my residence is being processed?

If you have applied for a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa and you have not applied for another type of temporary visa, Immigration New Zealand will process a Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa for you. It will come into effect the day after your current visa expires. You do not need to apply as it is an automated system.

Is English required for a Skilled Migrant visa?

Applicants must prove a certain level of English proficiency, which can be demonstrated through your country of citizenship or by taking an approved English language test. One of the accepted tests is IELTS, which requires a minimum overall score of 6.5 or higher for the principal applicant. Secondary applicants will also need to meet the English requirements, although the levels are set lower for them.