Skilled Migration Visas for New Zealand

Visas for New Zealand

What next?

If you want to apply for a New Zealand Visa or want to find out more information about emigrating to New Zealand, please either :

Call us on

0800 193 6900

or start online


See Also

Skilled Migration Visas for New Zealand

Skilled Migrant Category

With a Skilled Migrant Category visa, you get most of the rights of a citizen, including the ability to enter and leave the country, to work for any employer, to vote, to have full access to all health care benefits and educational subsidies for visa holders and their dependents.

Approvals for this Resident Class visa are primarily on a points system. The points levels are reset from time to time, but at present, anyone with a legitimate claim to 140 points or more, with skilled employment and meeting other general criteria such as health and English skills is likely to be successful.

To apply for Skilled Migrant Category visa, you must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).  If you have enough points, you will be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

For the Expression of Interest you must meet a minimum requirement of 100 points.  Points are based on age (under 56), experience, employability and qualifications.

At present, EOIs of 140 points and more (and meeting all other criteria) are selected from the pool.

Once you have been issued a resident visa, your arrival in New Zealand activates a two-year visa, which allows you to travel and re-enter New Zealand as a resident over this period.  After the initial resident visa expires, you will need to apply for a permanent resident visa, which can be granted either indefinitely or for a specific period.

Although you do not need a job offer for this visa, you will receive 50 additional points with an offer of skilled employment.


Work to Residence Category

For those who do not immediately meet the requirements for a Skilled Migrant Category visa, or who are unsure of how long they wish to stay in New Zealand and wish to apply for a residency visa at a later date, then they can apply for a Work to Residence visa.

Under the Work to Residence visa, applicants can come to New Zealand on the following visa options:

Talent (Accredited Employers) – For people with a job offer from an accredited employer

Long Term Skills Shortage List – For people in occupations on the long-term skills shortage list

Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) – For those with exceptional talent in a recognised field of art, culture or sport

If you plan to establish a business in New Zealand, there is a fourth option, the Long Term Business Policy (See Business Visas).

The advantages of the Work to Residence visa is that it allows you to work in New Zealand for 30 months, during which time you have the option of applying for a resident visa.

For those who did not meet the requirements of a residency visa to begin with, then they can do so after holding this visa for 24 months.

New Zealand FAQ

Once we recieve our permanent residency to Australia are we able to move to New Zealand? Or would we have to apply all over again as we have had to with the visas to Australia?

NZ will accept an Australian Permanent Resident as a Permanent Resident.

I have a police record in the UK. How will this affect my visa application for permanent residency in Australia or New Zealand? How many years is the record kept in the PNC? Up to how many years old can it be before I don’t have to declare it?

All offences recorded on your police record will never leave the PNC. For UK employment you don’t have to declare it after 10 years. For international immigration you have to declare it always. It never becomes “spent”. In most cases minor offences will not have a detrimental effect on your application for permanent residency, but it will depend on how long ago the offence was committed and the severity of the punishment. More severe cases i.e. offences where you were sentenced to time in prison, may cause problems for your application. This will again depend on the length of time since the offence and the length of time spent in prison. If this is the case for you would definitely benefit from the services of a registered agent who has had experience in dealing with criminal matters.

If my application is refused, how soon will I be informed?

You will be informed within a week of the decision.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for permanent immigration?

The easiest and fastest way for you to find out if you are eligible is to fill out our free online assessment and let our registered agents do all the work for you. All the assessments we recieve are looked over by qualified agents who will make a preliminary assessment based on the information you provide and contact you to discuss your options.

What if my situation changes after I have lodged my application? Do I need to tell anyone?

Definitely, any changes should be communicated to the department. If not you may put your application at serious risk since the details it is being process on are no longer accurate. If the change is a major one you can apply to have your application put on hold if you wish.

Overseas Emigration Visas migration agents are members of the NZAMI – the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment.

Team Expertise

Team Expertise

A native of Mangaweka, NZ, Andrew began working in the migration industry in 1998

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