Visa Factsheet Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

We invite people who have the skills to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth to apply for this visa. Before we can invite you to apply, we’ll first need you to send us an Expression of Interest telling us about your work experience, qualifications and ability to settle in New Zealand. If your Expression of Interest is successful we’ll offer you the opportunity to apply to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely.

Use the filters to customise information shown within this factsheet

Overview

Overview

Indefinitely

55 years or under


With this visa you can

  • Live, work and study in New Zealand.
  • Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your residence application.

Things to note

  • We use a points-based system to assess expressions of interest.
  • This visa isn’t designed for people who are self-employed. If you want to work in your own business, you may wish to apply for an Entrepreneur Resident Visa instead.

Entrepreneur Resident Visa

Criteria

Meeting the criteria

We invite people who have the skills to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth to apply for this visa. Before we can invite you to apply, we’ll first need you to send us an Expression of Interest telling us about your work experience, qualifications and ability to settle in New Zealand. If your Expression of Interest is successful we’ll offer you the opportunity to apply to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely.

Show all evidence Hide all evidence

Identity

You must provide proof of your identity

If you’re invited to apply for residence, you must provide:

  • 2 recent passport-sized photos
  • a current passport or certificate of identity
  • copies of the identity pages of your passport
  • an original or certified copy of your full birth certificate.

Acceptable photos
Identity documents

Please also provide a copy of your ID card.

Passports must be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand.

If you’re unable to provide a copy of your birth certificate, we’ll accept your identity card as proof of your identity.

We don’t accept delays or expense as reasons for not providing a birth certificate.

If you’re applying for this visa outside of New Zealand, you’ll need to supply a pre-paid courier envelope, for us to return your passport and/or any other original identity documents.

If you do not have a full birth certificate, you must provide all of the following:

  • a ‘No record of birth registration’
  • a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card or Voters Card or Indian driver’s license
  • a school leaving certificate or class 10th or 12th passing certificate which includes your name, date of birth and your father’s name
  • a statutory declaration or an affidavit sworn before a Magistrate/Notary Public which states your full name, date and place of birth and both your parent’s full names.

Character

You must be of good character

If you’re 17 or over, you must provide a Police Certificate from:

  • your country of citizenship
  • any other country where you’ve spent 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if you didn’t spend that 12 months all in one visit.

Good character
Police certificates

You don’t need to provide any Police Certificates until you’re invited to apply for residence.

If you provide a police certificate that is not in English, you must provide an English translation.

This includes police certificates that record no convictions.

English language

You must be able to speak English

You don’t need to prove that you can speak English until we invite you to apply for residence.

Evidence must include proof that one of the following apply, you:

When we assess if you’re a competent user of English, we’ll look at any evidence and circumstances you provide with your application. For example:

  • the country you live in now
  • any countries you’ve lived in before
  • how long you’ve lived in any English-speaking countries
  • if you speak any language other than English
  • if your family speak English
  • if your family speak any language other than English
  • if you have to speak English for your work either now or in the past
  • any qualifications you have and if you needed to be able to speak English to get those qualifications.

IELTS certificates must be no more than 2 years old.

Regardless of the other evidence you provide, if you don’t provide an IELTS certificate, we may ask for one as evidence you meet the English language requirements.

Age

You must be 55 years or under when you apply for residence

If you’re invited to apply for residence, we’ll use the documents you provide as proof of your identity to confirm your age.

Skilled employment

You must be able to work in skilled employment

If invited to apply for residence, you must provide evidence you're able to work in skilled employment, including having the necessary:

  • work experience
  • qualifications
  • occupational registration.

Occupational registration

Expression of interest

You must send us an Expression of Interest (EOI)

For us to enter your EOI into our selection pool, you must be able to claim at least 100 points under our points system.

You can use our Points indicator tool to get an idea of how many points you may be able to claim - scroll down to see the tool.

 

EOIs are valid for 6 months.

Invitation to apply for residence

You must be invited to apply for residence

If invited to apply for residence, you must apply within 4 months of receiving your invitation.

Your invitation to apply will include the specific evidence you need to provide to support the claims you made in your EOI, which may include:

  • an employment agreement
  • a job description
  • your full or provisional occupational registration, if New Zealand law requires you to have it do your job
  • original or certified copies of your qualifications and your course transcripts
  • a report from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) confirming any qualification that isn’t on our list of recognised or exempt qualifications
  • references, payslips, tax records or contracts that confirm your work experience
  • birth certificates for any close family who live in New Zealand that show you are related
  • proof that any close family you have claimed points for live in New Zealand.

If you’re unable to provide evidence to support the claims you made in your EOI, we may not be able to grant you a visa.

Occupational registration

You must check if your qualification is on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) list of recognised or exempt qualifications. If it’s not on the list, you must provide a report from the NZQA confirming the level at which your qualification is comparable to a New Zealand qualification.

List of NZQA qualifications

Bring family

Your partner and dependent children must meet the requirements for this visa

For your family to be included in an invitation to apply for residence, you must have included them in your Expression of Interest form.

If invited to apply, you must provide evidence:

  • of your relationship with your partner and dependent children
  • that your partner and dependent children meet the identity, character, health, and English language requirements for this visa.

Partnership
Dependent children

English language for family

Your partner and children 16 and over must speak English or pay for classes to learn English in New Zealand

If you’re invited to apply for residence, you’ll be asked to provide evidence your partner and children speak English or to pay for them to have English language classes in New Zealand.

Evidence can include proof that one of the following apply, they:

  • have an International English Language Testing System IELTS certificate score of 5 or more in the General or Academic module
  • have current skilled employment in New Zealand of 12 months or more
  • were taught in English for all the years they were at primary school and for at least 3 years of secondary school
  • were taught in English for 5 years at secondary school
  • have a tertiary qualification that was taught in English, which took 3 or more years to complete
  • have a qualification listed in our English Language Information leaflet.

Or, you may be able to show us that they’re competent users of English for other reasons, including:

  • the country they live in now
  • any countries they’ve lived in before
  • how long they’ve lived in any English-speaking countries
  • if they speak any language other than English
  • if their family speak English
  • if their family speak any language other than English
  • if they have to speak English for their work either now or in the past
  • any qualifications they have and if they needed to be able to speak English to get those qualifications.

More information on english language
English Language Information (INZ1060) PDF 249KB

If your partner and dependent children 16 and over don’t speak English, they can learn in New Zealand. You’ll have to pay us for English language classes before we can grant you a visa.

Learning English in New Zealand

Regardless of the other evidence you provide, if you don’t provide IELTS certificates for your partner and children 16 and over, we may ask for these as evidence your family meet the English language requirements.

Points indicator

The points indicator is a guide only. Only an immigration officer can award you points during their assessment of your visa application.

Age

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll use the documents you provide as proof of your identity to confirm your age.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Skilled employment

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask you to provide a copy of your written employment agreement or contract for services that includes:

  • a detailed description of your job
  • your hours of work
  • the length of your employment
  • your salary
  • the date you started work.

We'll also ask you for evidence you have the necessary work experience, qualifications, and occupational registration to carry out the work you're doing.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask you to provide a copy of your written employment agreement, which will need to include:

  • a detailed job description
  • the hours of work
  • the length of the employment
  • the salary
  • the date you'll be starting work.

We'll also ask you for evidence you have the necessary work experience, qualifications, and occupational registration to carry out the work you'll be doing.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll check the work you've been offered is in a future growth area.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask you to provide evidence that:

  • your work is in an occupation that's on our Long Term Skill Shortage List (this should be covered in your employment agreement)
  • you have the qualifications, work experience and/or occupational registration to work in your occupation detailed in the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

Long Term Skill Shortage List (INZ 1093) PDF 322KB

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll need your employment agreement to include the location of your job (as well as evidence that your job is in skilled employment).

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Qualifications

Your qualification will be recognised if it’s:

Or, you can ask the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to assess the level of your qualification. The NZQA offer two kinds of assessments:

The Pre-assessment Result will give you an idea if you can claim points for a recognised qualification, but you can’t use it as evidence if you’re later invited to apply for residence.

If you’re invited to apply for residence, we’ll ask you to provide:

We may also ask for copies of your course transcripts.

If you need an NZQA assessment, you’ll need to include a PAR or IQA reference number with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Visit www.nzqa.govt.nz for more information about how to: Get international qualifications recognised for immigration
Apply for a Pre-assessment Result
Apply for an International Qualifications Assessment.

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask you to provide:

We may also ask for your course transcripts.

Visit www.nzqf.govt.nz or www.nzqa.govt.nz for information about confirming qualifications.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence:

We may also ask for your course transcripts.

Visit www.nzqf.govt.nz or www.nzqa.govt.nz for information about confirming qualifications.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask you to provide a copy of your academic transcript that shows that the major subject of your qualification is in the same future growth area in which you are or will be working.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, the evidence we'll ask you to provide will depend on whether or not you have skilled employment in an area of absolute skills shortage in New Zealand.

If you're already working in or have been offered skilled employment in New Zealand, we'll ask you for evidence that your qualification is the reason you have the specialist, technical or managerial expertise necessary to do your work.

If you don't have skilled employment, we'll ask you for evidence that you meet all the ‘bonus point requirements' listed for your occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

Long Term Skill Shortage List (INZ 1093) PDF 322KB

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Work experience

If you're invited to apply for residence, you'll need to provide documents that show:

  • the work that you did
  • the dates you did the work
  • how many hours a week you worked (on average)
  • the contact details for your employer or employers
  • how your work experience relates to the work you're doing or have been offered in New Zealand.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, you'll need to provide documents that show how your work experience relates to your recognised qualification.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence you'll need to provide evidence that your work experience either:

  • is in a comparable labour market, or
  • provided the specialist, technical, or managerial skills necessary to work in an occupation that's included in the Long Term Shortage List.

Long Term Skill Shortage List (INZ 1093) PDF 322KB

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, you'll need to provide evidence:

  • that you've worked in New Zealand
  • of the location of your job in New Zealand.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest

If you're invited to apply for residence, you'll need to provide evidence that:

  • you're working in or have been offered work in a future growth area
  • your work experience is relevant to that work.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, you'll need to provide evidence that:

  • you have work experience in an occupation that's included in the Long Term Skill Shortage List
  • your work experience meets the requirements listed for that occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

Long Term Skill Shortage List (INZ 1093) PDF 322KB

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Family

If you're invited to apply for residence, you'll need to provide evidence that:

  • the close family you're claiming points for are New Zealand residents or New Zealand citizens
  • you and your close family member are related, which may include birth certificates or adoption documents
  • your close family member lives in New Zealand.

Evidence your close family member lives in New Zealand may include original or certified copies of any one of the following:

  • employment records
  • Work and Income payment records
  • banking records
  • rates demands
  • tax records from Inland Revenue
  • mortgage documents
  • rental agreements.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Partner

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask for evidence that one of the following applies to your partner, they:

When we assess if they're a competent user of English, we'll look at any evidence and circumstances you provide with your application. For example:

  • the country your partner lives in now
  • any countries your partner has lived in before
  • if your partner speaks any language other than English
  • if your partner's family speak English
  • if your partner's family speak any language other than English
  • if your partner has to speak English for their work either now or in the past
  • any qualifications your partner has and if they needed to be able to speak English to get those qualifications.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Any IELTS certificate must be less than 2 years old when you apply for residence.

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask your partner to provide a copy of their written employment agreement or contract for services that includes:

  • a detailed description of their job
  • their hours of work
  • the length of their employment
  • their salary
  • the date they started work

We'll also ask for evidence they have the necessary work experience, qualifications, and occupational registration to carry out the work they're doing.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask your partner to provide a copy of their written employment agreement, which will need to include:

  • a detailed job description
  • the hours of work
  • the length of the employment
  • the salary
  • the date they'll be starting work

We'll also ask for evidence they have the necessary work experience, qualifications, and occupational registration to carry out the work they'll be doing.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Your partner’s qualification will be recognised if it’s:

Or, your partner can ask the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to assess the level of your qualification. The NZQA offer two kinds of assessments:

The Pre-assessment Result will give you an idea if you can claim points for your partner’s recognised qualification, but you can’t use it as evidence if you’re later invited to apply for residence.

If you’re invited to apply for residence, we’ll ask you to provide:

We may also ask for copies of your partner’s course transcripts.

If your partner needs an NZQA assessment, you’ll need to include a PAR or IQA reference number with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

Visit www.nzqa.govt.nz for more information about how to:

If you're invited to apply for residence, we'll ask your partner to provide:

We may also ask for their course transcripts.

Visit www.nzqf.govt.nz or www.nzqa.govt.nz for more information about confirming qualifications.

You don't need to provide any evidence with your Expression of Interest. (EOI)

You Total Points (Minimum of 100):
0 points
Process & Fees

Process & fees

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

Stage 1

1

You send us your Expression of Interest

Before sending us an expression of interest (EOI), you can use our points indicator to get an idea how many points you can claim for your EOI. You’ll need at least 100 to be accepted into our selection pool.

You can send us your EOI online or fill in a paper form.

Application fees apply. Use our Office and fees finder to check how much to pay and where to send paper forms.

Skilled Migrant Category – EOIs

 

2

We invite you to apply for residence

Every 2 weeks we’ll select EOIs from our pool. If your EOI is selected, we’ll check you’ve claimed the right number of points for your age, experience, employment and qualifications.

If you meet the Skilled Migrant Expression of Interest selection criteria, we may invite you to apply for residence.

Stage 2

3

You send us your Application for Residence

If you’re invited to apply for residence, we’ll send you an ‘Application for Residence under the Skilled Migrant Category’. It’ll include all the information you supplied with your EOI and ask you to provide documents to support your claims about your employability, health, character, and English-speaking ability.

You’ll have 4 months to send us your application, fee, and immigration levy.

View office & fees details

 

4

We make a decision about your application

Your application for Residence will take up to 6 months.

If there’s anything else you need to do, we’ll be in touch. 

We may ask to interview you as part of the process.

Conditions

Visa Conditions

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing an arrival card, which you’ll be given on the way to New Zealand.

You can be refused entry permission if:

  • you don't meet our character requirements
  • your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
  • you refuse to let us take your photo or to provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if asked for them.

Travelling to and arriving in New Zealand

Work (if you have an offer of skilled employment in Auckland)

If you were awarded points for an offer of skilled employment in Auckland and those points were the reason you were invited to apply for residence, you must:

  • take up that job within 3 months of coming to New Zealand
  • stay in that job for 3 months.

You must provide evidence within 5 years of your first day in New Zealand as a resident that you stayed in your skilled employment for at least 3 months.

So we can get in touch with you to check your evidence, you’ll need to let us know if your address changes during this time.

Work (if you have an offer of skilled employment outside of Auckland)

If you were awarded points for an offer of skilled employment outside of Auckland and those points were the reason you were invited to apply for residence, you must:

  • take up that job within 3 months of coming to New Zealand
  • stay in that job for 12 months.

You must provide evidence within 5 years of your first day in New Zealand as a resident that you stayed in your skilled employment for at least 12 months.

So we can get in touch with you to check your evidence, you’ll need to let us know if your address changes during this time.

Work (if you have current skilled employment in Auckland)

If you were awarded points for your current skilled employment in Auckland, and you’d been working in that job for less than 3 months when you were invited to apply for residence, you must stay in the job for at least 3 months.

You must provide evidence within 5 years of your first day in New Zealand as a resident that you stayed in your skilled employment for at least 3 months.

So we can get in touch with you to check your evidence, you’ll need to let us know if your address changes during this time.

Work (if you have current skilled employment outside of Auckland)

If you were awarded points for your current skilled employment outside of Auckland, and you’d been working in that job for less than 3 months when you were invited to apply for residence, you must stay in the job for at least 12 months.

You must provide evidence within 5 years of your first day in New Zealand as a resident that you stayed in your skilled employment for at least 12 months.

So we can get in touch with you to check your evidence, you’ll need to let us know if your address changes during this time.

Keep your visa in a valid passport

If you want to travel, your visa must be in a valid passport.

If your passport expires, you must apply to transfer your visa to a new passport before you can travel.

To transfer your visa, you must:

  • send us your old and new passports
  • complete an ‘Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa’
  • pay a transfer fee.

Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa (INZ 1023)
Office and fee finder

Travel

You can travel in and out of New Zealand as often as you like until your travel conditions expire.

To travel after that, you’ll need to apply for and be granted either:

  • a Permanent Resident Visa
  • a variation of your travel conditions, which would allow you to return to New Zealand at a later date. 

Your travel conditions will expire 2 years from the date you first arrive in New Zealand as a resident.

If you’re outside of New Zealand when your travel conditions expire, your visa will expire as well.