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.

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What Our Clients Say

  • We have all settled in well in Oz. We have now been here a year and loving it. Thanks.
    – Simon & Gillian Vamplew, Australia
  • Thanks so much for all of your help and support with my application. Everyone there has been so responsive every time we’ve contacted you, it really does make a difference. I should refer our estate agent back in Edinburgh to you for some tips on customer communication! And we certainly would recommend to anyone thinking of making the move to contact the team at OE.
    – James Cooke, New Zealand
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    – Lynn McBride & Family, Australia
  • Now that I have scraped myself off the ceiling following the exciting news regarding my VISA grant I received on Friday, I just wanted to pass on my thanks for your part in making all of this possible. A number of years ago I had a phone consultation with another company (didn’t know about OE at the time) and came away disheartened as there thoughts on my success at this was far from favourable. Yet on conversation with Laurence he stated to me that I could get a visa without state sponsorship and it would take 7 months and that I should be wary of the IELTS test. If I have my dates correct it took about 9 months but would have been 7 were it not for the IELTS test! Again, your patience support and effort were greatly appreciated and I have passed on this experience to a number of friends who are also thinking of making the move and that they should use OE.
    – Graeme and family, Australia
  • Currently we have been staying in Thailand since before Christmas and in 5 weeks we travel to Australia to arrive at the same time as our personal effects. We can’t wait! Again – many thanks to everyone for everything!
    – Maxine Warhurst & Family, Australia
  • Thank you so much to all at OE, yourself and Lawrence can you send the gratitude to Mark too, it is only just becoming real, we are so pleased.
    – Christopher Barber & Jayne Harris, New Zealand
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    – Elaine, Kevin and Kim Lawrence, Brisbane, Australia
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    – Karen Johnson, Canada
  • Things are working out really well for us in NZ and I am more than happy for my comments to be posted on your website, I meant what I said regarding my positive view of your company and I would like people to know. There are so many companies offering the same kind of service, it’s hard to know who to trust and we had OE recommended by a friend and I would recommend to anyone without a second thought.
    – Sam Whittam, New Zealand
  • All going well. Thank you, after all the work that was put in from your office with regards our emigration we cannot thank you enough, again many thanks for everything!
    – Michael Coombes, Australia
  • Currently we have been staying in Thailand since before Christmas and in 5 weeks we travel to Australia to arrive at the same time as our personal effects. We can’t wait! Again – many thanks to everyone for everything!
    – Maxine Warhurst & Family, Australia
  • We’ll keep you updated about how we get on but for now Lin and I would like to sincerely thank you, Richard, Magda and everyone else at OE who have made the process of getting our visas so straightforward for us. You are all so professional and we have felt at every stage that we are in the best hands possible. Your customer service is truly outstanding!
    – Scott McKenzie, Australia
  • Thank you so so much and everybody at OE for everything. We are over the moon! We are all in shock and there are tears! Thank you again.
    – Warren Baldwin-Jones, Canada
  • They explained each process of the application and kept us up-to-date on what was happening at each stage; telling us when we needed to be doing things and in what order – they made the whole process very straight forward.

    Real Life Melbourne Magazine Feature (PDF 965KB)
    – The Colberts, Melbourne, Australia

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