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 (EOI) telling us about your employment in New Zealand, work experience, and qualifications. If your Expression of Interest is successful we’ll offer you the opportunity to apply to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely.

Overview

Overview

Duration

Indefinitely

Age Range

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.
  • Currently, we are only selecting EOIs with 160 points or above.
  • 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.

Find out how many points you can claim
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 (EOI) telling us about your employment in New Zealand, work experience, and qualifications. 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 display country specific tips, under evidence, to assist you with your application

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Identity

You must provide proof of your identity

Acceptable photos

Please also provide a copy of your Identity 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.

You don’t need to provide proof of your identity until you’re invited to apply for residence.

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 will need to provide one of these with your application:

  • An acceptable English language test result.
  • Evidence you’re a citizen of Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) or the United States of America (USA), and you have spent at least five years working or studying in those countries, or in Australia or New Zealand.
  • Evidence you have a recognised qualification that’s comparable to a New Zealand level 7 bachelor’s degree, which you gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. You must have also studied for at least two years in any of those countries to get that qualification.
  • Evidence you have a recognised qualification that’s comparable to a postgraduate New Zealand qualification, which you gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. You must have also studied for at least one year in any of those countries to get that qualification. 

 Acceptable English language test results

English language test results must be no more than 2 years old.

Regardless of the other evidence you provide, if you don’t provide an acceptable English language test result, 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.

Qualifications

Your qualification must be recognised to qualify for points.

If you claim points for your qualification, you must show it is a recognised qualification. A qualification can be recognised if:

  • It is on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment; or
  • It has been assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA); or
  • It has been assessed by a New Zealand registration authority at the same level as a qualification on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment as part of an application for New Zealand occupational registration; or
  • It is a Washington Accord or Sydney Accord accredited undergraduate degree.

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

Visit the NZQA website for more information about how to:

  • Get international qualifications recognised for immigration
  • Apply for a Pre-assessment Result
  • Apply for an International Qualifications Assessment.

NZQA website

Work experience

Your work experience must be skilled to qualify for points

If you claim points for work experience, you must show it is skilled.

Skilled work experience

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

Expression of interest

You must send us an Expression of Interest (EOI)

For us to enter your EOI into our 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 advise of 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 to 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 you have a recognised qualification. You may need to obtain a report from the NZQA assessing the level of your qualification compared to qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

A Pre-assessment result will give you an idea of whether  you can claim points for your qualification, but you can’t use it as evidence if you’re later invited to apply for residence.

If you’re invited to apply, you will need to provide an International Qualifications Assessment.

More information is available on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website.

www.nzqa.govt.nz

Bring family

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

For your family to be included in a residence application, you must have included them in your Expression of Interest.

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

If any of your immediate family members hold New Zealand temporary entry visas based on their relationship with you, they must be included in your residence application.

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 acceptable English language test result
  • are a citizen of Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) or the United States of America (USA), and have spent at least five years working or studying in those countries, or in Australia or New Zealand
  • have a recognised qualification that’s comparable to a New Zealand bachelor’s degree, which they gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. They must also have studied for at least two years in any of those countries to get that qualification
  • have a recognised qualification that’s comparable to a postgraduate New Zealand qualification, which they gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. They must also have studied for at least one year in any of those countries to get that qualification.

If your partner and dependent children 16 and over don’t meet these requirements, they can learn English 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
Acceptable English language test results
English Language Information (INZ1060) PDF 257KB

Regardless of the other evidence you provide, if you don’t provide an acceptable English language test result, we may ask for one as evidence you 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. It shows the points that will be in effect on and after 28 August 2017.

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 pay (per year and/or per hour)
  • 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'll also need to provide an 'Employer Supplementary Form - Skilled Migrant Category', completed by your employer.

Employer Supplementary Form - SMC (INZ 1235) PDF 254KB

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 pay (per year and/or per hour)
  • 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'll also need to provide an 'Employer Supplementary Form - Skilled Migrant Category', completed by your employer.

Employer Supplementary Form - SMC (INZ 1235) PDF 254KB

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 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

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)

If you're invited to apply for residence, we may ask for evidence your employment can be sustained by your employer at that level of pay.

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

Qualifications

Your qualification will be recognised if it’s:

  • on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment
  • assessed by a New Zealand registration authority at the same level as a qualification on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment as part of an application for New Zealand occupational registration.

List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment

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 of whether 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 the NZQA website 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 the following websites for more information about confirming qualifications:
www.nzqf.govt.nz
www.nzqa.govt.nz

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 the following websites for more information about confirming qualifications:
www.nzqf.govt.nz
www.nzqa.govt.nz

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 show you have skilled work experience. You can do this by providing 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

Skilled work experience

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 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)

Partner

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

  • they have achieved the required English language test score (IELTS overall score of 6.5 or more, TOEFL iBT overall score of 79 or more, PTE Academic overall score of 58 or more, Cambridge First (FCE)/FCE for Schools overall score of 176 or more, OET Grade B or higher in all four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking)); or
  • they are a citizen of Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America, and have spent at least five years in work or education in one or more of those countries or Australia or New Zealand; or
  • they have a recognised qualification comparable to a New Zealand level 7 bachelor's degree, gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America. It'll need to have involved at least 2 years of study in one or more of those countries; or
  • they have a recognised qualification comparable to New Zealand level 8 or above, gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America. It'll need to have involved at least 1 year of study in one or more of those countries.

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

English language test results 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 (or will 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're doing (or will 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:

  • on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment
  • assessed by a New Zealand registration authority at the same level as a qualification on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment as part of an application for New Zealand occupational registration.

List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment

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 the NZQA website for more information about how to:
Get international qualifications recognised for immigration
Apply for a Pre-assessment Result
Apply for an International Qualifications Assessment.

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

Process

The information below will help you understand the process so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

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Fees & receiving centre

Fees & receiving centre

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.

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Visa conditions

Visa conditions

If you are granted a visa, there are conditions that you must meet. These visa conditions are described below.

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, you must:

  • take up that job within 3 months of coming to New Zealand
  • stay in that job for at least 3 months.
  • continue to be paid at or above the level of remuneration for whch skilled employment points were awarded to you, 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 an offer of skilled employment outside of Auckland)

If you were awarded points for an offer of skilled employment outside of Auckland, you must:

  • take up that job within 3 months of coming to New Zealand
  • stay in that job for at least 12 months
  • continue to be paid at or above the level of remuneration for which skilled employment points were awarded to you, 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.

Work (if you have current skilled employment in Auckland)

If you were awarded points for your current skilled employment in Auckland, and you’ve been working in that job for less than 3 months, you must:

  • stay in the job for at least 3 months
  • continue to be paid at or above the level of remuneration for which skilled employment points were awarded to you, 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’ve been working in that job for less than 3 months, you must:

  • stay in the job for at least 12 months
  • continue to be paid at or above the level of remuneration for which skilled employment points were awarded to you, 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.