Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa application guide

Use this guide to help you gather the evidence you need for your Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa application.

If you submitted an expression of interest (EOI) before 16 August 2023, use this guide to help you plan and submit your Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa application in time.

Plan your application

The following steps are a general guide to help you gather the evidence you need for a complete application. Also refer back to the:

  • EOI you sent us
  • visa criteria and conditions, process and costs.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

  • Only include the documents and evidence that we require in your application.
  • An application containing all the documents we require is processed faster. 
  • We will contact you if we need more information.

Check your invitation to apply (ITA)

Relates to visa criteria: Invitation to apply for residence

Timeframe: You have 4 months from the date that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) invites you to apply to send us your application.

If applying by paper, allow extra time for posting from your location so it arrives with us before the 4-month application deadline.

What to do

Read through your ITA and note your application due date and any other requirements.

Start organising the documents you must include with your application.


Start early so you have enough time to get everything you need.

Organise to get documents translated

What to do

For your application you must provide:

  • certified English translations of any documents in your application that are not in English
  • scanned copies of the original documents.

Translating supporting documents into English


As you gather your evidence, make a note of any documents that need to be translated.

Check if your qualifications need assessment

Relates to visa criteria: Qualifications

What to do

Make a list of any qualifications you are claiming points for

  • Check that you have evidence of your qualifications.
  • If you do not have evidence of your qualifications, ask your education provider how to get them.
  • Check whether your qualification is recognised.

Recognised qualifications are:

  • New Zealand qualifications
  • qualifications on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment
  • any qualifications assessed as comparable with a New Zealand qualification.

If your qualification is not recognised, check whether you have an International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

If any of your qualifications are not recognised and you do not have an IQA, you need to apply for one.

International Qualifications Assessments

An IQA determines what New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) level your qualification is equal to. This is not always the same level as a New Zealand qualification with a similar name.

For example, while a New Zealand master’s degree is a Level 9 qualification, some overseas master’s degrees may only count as a Level 7 qualification.

  • Check which documents you need to send NZQA.
  • Gather your documents.
  • Apply for an IQA through the NZQA website.

It can take a few months to get an IQA, so apply early.

Apply for an International Qualification Assessment— NZQA website

Claiming bonus points for an eligible New Zealand qualification

If you are claiming bonus points for an eligible New Zealand qualification, your qualification must be either:

  • a New Zealand bachelor’s degree involving at least 2 years of full-time study in New Zealand, or
  • a New Zealand postgraduate degree involving at least 1 year of full-time study in New Zealand.

We need to see your qualification’s NZQF level.

  • Find your qualification on the NZQA website.
  • Download a copy of your qualification’s Qualification Overview. 
  • If you cannot find your qualification, apply for a letter from NZQA showing your qualification’s NZQF level.

Search for a qualification — NZQA website

If your qualification was assessed for your registration

If your qualification was assessed when you applied for occupational registration in New Zealand, you do not need to send us an IQA.

Instead, you should also gather either:

  • your certificate of registration, or
  • evidence of your eligibility for registration, which is subject only to an interview on arrival with a representative from the Medical Council of New Zealand or the Dental Council.

Book medical appointments

Relates to visa criteria: Health

Timeframe: If you require a medical appointment, schedule it for no earlier than 3 months before you plan to submit your application.

What to do

Check if you are required to have a medical examination and chest X-ray.

Who needs an X-ray or medical examination


You do not need to have a new medical examination if you have sent us a medical certificate as part of a previous application and the certificate is less than 36 months old.

You need to have a new chest X-ray if you have spent more than 6 months in a row in a country that does not have a low incidence of tuberculosis since your last X-ray.

Countries with a low incidence of tuberculosis 

If you need to have a medical examination or chest X-ray:

  • find an INZ panel physician for your medical examination and chest X-ray
  • book an appointment.

Find a radiologist or doctor near you


If the 'panel physicians near you' tool shows there are no INZ panel physicians in your country, you can go to any registered, licensed medical practitioner. Take to your appointment:

  • a printed copy of the General Medical Certificate form for your doctor to complete
  • 3 passport-sized photos.

General Medical Certificate (INZ1007) PDF 510KB

Apply for police certificates

Relates to visa criteria: Good character

Timeframe: Your police certificates must be less than 6 months old when you submit your application. Allow time to get certificates from some countries.

What to do

Make a list that includes:

  • all your countries of citizenship
  • every country you have lived in for at least 12 months over the last 10 years. You do not need to have spent all 12 months in 1 visit.

Apply for a police certificate from each country on your list.


If you are a Chinese citizen who has lived in Samoa for the last 12 years, and you have also spent 3 months in Fiji for each of the last 5 years, your application must include a police certificate from all 3 countries.

Do this for everyone in your application aged 17 or older.

Who needs to provide police certificates

How to get a police certificate

Organise proof of skilled employment

Relates to visa criteria: Skilled employment

This guidance is for visa applicants who have a job offer or are in skilled employment.

What to do

Gather your:

  • written offer of employment
  • detailed job description
  • employment agreement.

Evidence of your employment agreement

Your employment agreement needs to show us:

  • whether your position is full-time (at least 30 hours a week)
  • whether your employment is permanent or fixed-term of a least 12 months
  • a detailed job description
  • your salary or wages.

It must also state either:

  • the period during which your employment may begin, or
  • the date your employment began if you have already started the position.

Employer supplementary form

If you are claiming points for a job offer or skilled employment, ask your employer to complete the Employer Supplementary Form (INZ1235) that we send you.

Evidence of prior training or work experience

We also need to see that you are qualified to do the job you are claiming points for.

Gather evidence of any prior training or work experience needed to do your job.

What can be used as evidence of work experience?

If your job requires you to be occupationally registered in New Zealand, gather evidence of your full or provisional occupational registration.

Occupational registration

If you are claiming points for skilled work experience, make sure you include evidence of the positions you have held.

Organise proof of identity

Relates to visa criteria: Identity

Timeframe: Your photo must be less than 6 months old.

What to do

Provide a photo for your visa

You need to include acceptable photos of everyone in your application.

Read our requirements to see what your photo should look like.

Acceptable photos for a visa or NZeTA


If you are applying from a country without INZ panel physicians, you also need to take 3 passport-sized photos to your medical examination.

Provide a copy of your passport or identity document

Make sure everyone in your application has a valid passport or certificate of identity.

Provide a birth certificate

Make sure everyone in your application has a full birth certificate.

Organise proof of English language ability

Relates to visa criteria: English language

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

What to do

Provide evidence of your English language ability. This can be either:

  • an acceptable English language test result, or
  • a recognised qualification from a qualifying English-speaking country.

You do not need to provide evidence of your English language ability if you are a citizen of certain English-speaking countries and have worked or studied there for at least 5 years. You may need to show us evidence of the time spent working or studying.

Who does not need English language test results — English language test results for residence visas

Gather evidence for partner and children

What to do

If you are including family

Relates to visa criteria: English language for family

If your family members do not meet the 'English language for family' criteria, you must buy English language classes in New Zealand.

You can buy English language lessons as part of your visa application.

Learning English after you come to New Zealand

We cannot approve your application until you pay their English class fees.

If you are including a partner

Relates to visa criteria: Partner and dependent children

If you are including your partner on your application:

  • make a list of the evidence you have of your partnership
  • gather the evidence on your list
  • request any documents you might not have, like bank statements.

We need to see that you and your partner:

  • have lived together for 12 months or more
  • are currently living together.

If you lived apart from your partner for any significant time during your relationship, you must also provide:

  • evidence of the length of any periods of separation
  • reasons for these periods of separation 
  • how you maintained your relationship during them.

There is guidance on how we define and assess partnerships, and examples of evidence. 

How we define partnership

If you are including dependent children

Relates to visa criteria: Partner and dependent children

You may need to provide birth certificates as evidence of your relationship with dependent children, if you are including them in your application.

If you are including an adopted child on your application, we need to see evidence of the adoption.

Legal adoption

Include your child’s adoption papers.

Adoption by custom

Prepare a written declaration stating:

  • that you adopted the child
  • the date of adoption
  • the country where the adoption took place.

Gather proof of custody arrangements

If you are separated and including a child aged 16 or younger on your application, we need to see that you have the right to take the child from their country of residence.


This evidence could be either:

  • a court order allowing you to remove the child from their country of residence, or
  • legal documents showing that you have custody of the child and the sole right to decide where they live, without visitation rights being granted to the other partner, or
  • legal documents showing that you have custody of the child and a signed, witnessed statement from the child’s other parent which confirms that they agree to allow the child to live in New Zealand if your residence application is approved.

Prepare to submit your application

What to do

This is a general checklist

Make sure you proofread your form carefully.

Make sure that everyone’s details are correct, especially that:

  • names match passport names
  • dates of birth are in the correct day/month/year format
  • ID numbers match official documents.

Make sure you have:

  • your completed application form
  • clear, readable scanned copies of all your supporting documents
  • any translations you need to send to us
  • your visa photos.

Your supporting documents must include your:

  • passport or identity document
  • police certificates
  • medical certificates, if your physician is not sending them directly to us
  • evidence of English language ability.

We may need to see other supporting documents depending on your situation.

If these apply to you, you must also include evidence of your:

  • job or job offer
  • training and qualifications, including any NZQA assessments
  • work experience
  • completed Employer Supplementary Form
  • occupational registration
  • partnership
  • child’s adoption
  • child’s custody arrangements.

When all your evidence is ready, do a final review of your form and double check your details.

Application for Residence Guide — Skilled Migrant Category (INZ 1105) PDF 290KB

File formats for uploading documents and photographs