News centre

SMC and RFW processing times

The Government has decided to postpone a number of visa programmes, including selections for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the Skilled Migrant Category.

Warning

The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Government has decided to postpone a number of visa programmes, including selections for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the Skilled Migrant Category.

This is a temporary measure. Immigration New Zealand will continue to reassess and determine when EOI selections can take place as the situation develops.

We will update our website as we are able to provide more information.

COVID-19: Key update

Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work (RFW) Category applications will be prioritised for allocation if the principal applicant is onshore and:

  • is paid twice the median wage or higher (currently NZD $51 an hour or NZD $106,080 a year), or
  • works in an occupation where registration is required by immigration instructions and holds that registration.

Occupations that require registration

Applications that don’t meet either criterion for prioritisation are allocated to an immigration officer in the order they are received.

As of 28 July 2020, INZ is allocating:

  • non-prioritised SMC and Residence from Work applications received in December 2018, and
  • prioritised SMC and Residence from Work applications received in May 2020.

Once an application is allocated, an immigration officer will then assess the application to check that the applicant and any family included can be granted a visa.

Applicants will be contacted when an application is allocated to an immigration officer.

The time taken to assess an application can vary considerably and will depend on the quality and of supporting documents and whether further information or verification of information is required.