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Skilled Migrant Residence Visa for New Zealand

The skilled migrant residence visa category covers individuals who have or have been offered skilled employment matching the national median wage. It is designed to attract people with the skills to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth and development. 

To be successful in your application for a visa under this category, you will also need to meet other requirements, including good health, character, and English language criteria.

Applying To Immigration NZ As A Skilled Migrant

Your application begins when you lodge an Expression of Interest. This is a points-based application that will assess factors including your skilled work experience, qualifications, and age . To be selected from the pool of applicants for a skilled migrant residence visa, your Expression of Interest must meet 160 points or more.

Once you meet this minimum point threshold, you will be invited to apply for a skilled migrant visa.

To succeed in your application, you will have to be able to show that:

Your work experience and knowledge satisfies the requirements set out by Immigration New Zealand
The employment you are going to undertake is sustainable
You are able to carry out the tasks and responsibilities related to your specific employment as listed under the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)
Please note, however, that a skilled migrant residence visa is not designed for self-employed individuals. If you want to work in your own business, you may instead wish to apply for an Entrepreneur Resident Visa
If you are unsure which New Zealand resident visa category is most appropriate for your circumstances, a qualified New Zealand immigration lawyer can advise you. To book an appointment with an experienced immigration law professional, please contact Sharma Law at +64 7 855 2663 .

Factors Considered By The Points System

Here are some of the criteria Immigration New Zealand’s point-based system considers when assessing your Expression of Interest :


How old are you? You must be aged 55 or younger to apply for a skilled migrant residence visa in NZ.

Employment Status

Are you working in or have you been offered skilled employment in New Zealand?


Do you have a recognised qualification? Was it from a recognised New Zealand institution?

Work Experience

Do you have skilled work experience related to your qualifications?

Standard of English

Do you meet the minimum English Language standards?

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    After Your Expression Of Interest Is Considered

    Every fortnight, Immigration New Zealand selects Expressions of Interests from the pool that meet or exceed its points criteria. These will then be selected for further consideration.
    Once you are invited to apply for residency, you must submit evidence for the points you have claimed. Immigration New Zealand will then complete a second-tier assessment to determine whether or not you have the ability to settle well in New Zealand.
    An experienced New Zealand immigration lawyer can assess your application for a skilled migrant residence visa and advise you on its chance of success. For a free initial consult with a qualified immigration law professional at Sharma Law, please contact us at +64 7 855 2663 .

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