Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

Apply for this visa if you currently work or you have a job offer from an accredited employer, and qualify for 6 points for your skills and work in New Zealand. You submit an expression of interest (EOI). If it is accepted, we invite you to apply.

Length of stay

Indefinitely

Age Range

55 years and under

Cost
From
NZD $4290
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.
  • Claim 3 to 6 points for your qualification (Bachelor’s degree or higher), New Zealand occupational registration or income. However, you cannot combine points from any of these skill categories. For example you cannot combine points from your qualification with points from your income.
  • Claim 1 point for each year of skilled work in New Zealand, up to a maximum of 3 points. These points can be combined with the points from your qualification, New Zealand occupational registration or income.
Things to note
  • You must have 6 points to apply.
    Check your points
  • You must have a job or a job offer in New Zealand to apply. Your employment must be with an accredited employer and either full-time and permanent, for a fixed-term of at least 12 months or a contract for services of at least 6 months.
  • If you were invited to apply before 9 October 2023, you can apply using the previous visa criteria. The previous visa criteria allowed you to claim points for work experience gained outside of New Zealand and for skilled employment you have in New Zealand.

What you need to apply

Check if you are eligible to apply for this visa and what supporting documents and information you need to provide.

View All Evidence

Prove your identity by providing:

Acceptable photos for a visa or NZeTA

After you apply, we let you know if we need to see your original passport.

Providing your passport for online applications

Tips

Your photo must be less than 6 months old.

You must include acceptable photos of everyone in your application.

We check your identity documents — for example, your passport — to confirm your age.

Tips

If you are including your partner in your application, they can be over 55.

You, and your partner if they are included in your application, need to show us you have an acceptable standard of health.

Acceptable standard of health criteria for visa approvals

This means you, and anyone else included in your application, must complete a chest X-ray and medical examination.

Note

If you have provided medical certificates to us before, you may not need to provide them again.

Who needs an X-ray or medical examination

The panel physician will prepare a medical certificate detailing the results of the examination and send it to us. It must be no more than 3 months old when you apply for your visa.

Getting an X-ray or medical examination

Health of your children

Dependent children aged 24 or younger included in your application must get a full general medical examination, but if they are:

  • aged 10 or younger, they must get a medical examination, but do not need a chest X-ray unless we or your panel physician ask for one
  • 11 to 14 years old, they must get a medical examination and a chest X-ray, but only need a blood test if we or your panel physician ask for one.
Tips

If there are no INZ panel physicians in your country you can go to any registered, licensed medical practitioner. Take a copy of the General Medical Certificate form (INZ 1007) and 3 passport-sized photos to your appointment.

If you, or anyone else included in your application, are aged 17 or older you must provide a police certificate from:

  • all the countries you are a citizen of, and
  • any other country you have stayed in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if it was not all in the same stay.

How to get a police certificate

Good character for residence visas

Tips

Police certificates must be less than 6 months old at the time you apply.

There are 2 ways to show us you speak and understand English – through:

  • your citizenship, where you studied and the qualifications you gained
  • English language tests.

The results of your English language test must:

  • meet the minimum score we set
  • be no more than 2 years old when you apply.

Find out about the citizenship requirements, the evidence needed for study and qualifications, or the test results required:

English language requirements for skilled residence visas

Note

When we assess your application, we may ask for more evidence of your ability to speak and understand English. If we do, you may have to sit a test and send us the results.

To be considered a skilled job, the job or job offer must be:

  • at least 30 hours a week.
  • either in an ANZSCO Level 1 to 3 occupation and paid at or above the median wage, or in an ANZSCO Level 4 to 5 occupation and paid at or above 1.5 times the median wage.
  • on a permanent contract, a fixed-term contract for at least 12 months or a contract for services for at least 6 months.

Wage rate requirements for visas

Evidence to include with your application

Include the following evidence with your application:

  • your employment agreement
  • the job description for your role.

The evidence you provide must show your occupation, hours and pay.

Tips

The job title and description for your role should mostly match the job title and description in ANZSCO.

You cannot claim points for a skilled job or job offer.

If you were invited to apply before 9 October 2023 you can use the previous visa criteria, which allowed you to claim points for skilled employment.

You can use your occupational registration to claim points if it is on our list of eligible New Zealand occupational registrations. Registrations that require more training are worth more points.

Points available for occupational registration

Points Requirements

6

A minimum of 6 years of experience and/or training is required to gain registration.

5

A minimum of 5 years of experience and/or training is required to gain registration.

4

A minimum of 4 years of experience and/or training is required to gain registration.

3

A minimum of 2 years of experience and/or training is required to gain registration.

List of eligible occupational registrations

Find out what New Zealand occupational registrations are eligible, and the points awarded for each registration.

Claiming skilled resident points from occupational registration

Claiming points for skilled work experience in New Zealand

If you are planning to use skilled work experience in New Zealand to claim further points, you can only use skilled work experience that you gained after getting your occupational registration.

Evidence to include with your application

Include evidence in your application that confirms:

  • your registration authority
  • the name of your registration
  • that you meet any other requirements to qualify for points for your registration.
Tips

You cannot combine points from your New Zealand occupational registration with points from your qualification or income. However, you can combine points from your New Zealand occupational registration with points from skilled work experience in New Zealand.

If you claim points for your qualification, you must show it is a recognised qualification.

A qualification is recognised if it:

Check if you need to apply for an International Qualification Assessment

Apply for an International Qualification Assessment (IQA) – NZQA website

Qualification points

You can claim between 3 to 6 points depending on the highest level of qualification you have and its NZQF level.

Points available for qualifications

Points Qualification
(Equivalent under the NZQF)

6

Level 10 Doctoral Degree

5

Level 9 Master’s Degree

4

Level 8 Bachelor Honour's Degree or Postgraduate Diploma

3

Level 8 Postgraduate Certificate

Level 7 Bachelor’s degree

International qualifications without a New Zealand equivalent

If your IQA does not confirm your qualification is equivalent to a New Zealand qualification, you can still claim:

  • 5 points for a level 10 qualification
  • 4 points for a level 9 qualification, or
  • 3 points for a level 8 qualification.

Non-degree qualifications

If you have a non-degree qualification at NZQF Level 7 or below, you cannot claim points. However if you were invited to apply before 9 October 2023 under the previous visa criteria - you can still use non-degree qualifications at NZQF Level 7 or below to claim points.

Evidence to include with your application

Include the following evidence with your application:

  • copies of your qualifications and your course transcripts
  • an IQA from NZQA if you need one.
Tips

You cannot combine points from your qualification with points from your New Zealand occupational registration or income. However, you can combine points from your qualification with points from skilled work experience in New Zealand.

If you need an NZQA assessment, you must include a reference number for your IQA with your Expression of Interest (EOI).

Points available for income

Points Wage threshold

6

Job or job offer in New Zealand at 3 times the median wage (currently NZD$94.83 an hour) or more.

4

Job or job offer in New Zealand at 2 times the median wage (currently NZD$63.22 an hour) or more.

3

Job or job offer in New Zealand at 1.5 times the median wage (currently NZD$47.41 an hour) or more.

The median wage is updated every year.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa wage rate thresholds

Claiming points for skilled work experience in New Zealand

If you are planning to use skilled work experience in New Zealand to claim further points, you must meet the wage threshold throughout the skilled work experience period.

For example, if you are claiming 4 points for being paid 2 times the median wage, you must earn this wage during your 2 years of skilled work experience in New Zealand.

You must provide evidence that you met the wage threshold at both the beginning and end of your skilled work experience period.

Evidence to include with your application

Include the following evidence with your application:

  • your employment agreement
  • the job description for your role.

The evidence you provide must show your occupation, hours and pay.

Tips

You cannot combine points from your income with points from your qualification or New Zealand occupational registration. However, you can combine points from your income with points from skilled work experience in New Zealand.

Applications for the Highly Paid Residence Visa were planned to open on 29 September 2023. If you intended to apply for the Highly Paid Residence Visa, you can apply for the Skilled Migrant Category Residence Visa instead and claim points from your income.

You can claim 1 point for each year of skilled work experience you have in New Zealand, up to a maximum of 3 points.

Skilled work requirements

The skilled work experience must be:

  • in a full-time job (minimum of 30 hours a week), and
  • on a permanent contract, a fixed-term contract for at least 12 months or a contract for services for at least 6 months.
Tip

If you have a contract for services you must prove you have a history of contract work, including 12 months of work experience in New Zealand.

 

There is also a wage threshold depending on the ANZSCO level of your job:

  • If your job has an ANZSCO level of 1 to 3 you must earn the median wage or above.
  • If your job has an ANZSCO level of 4 to 5 you must earn 1.5 times the median wage or above.

Wage rate requirements for visas

You can claim points for skilled work experience in New Zealand from:

  • 3 years during the 5 years before you apply if you are claiming 3 points.
  • 2 years during the 4 years before you apply if you are claiming 2 points.
  • 1 year during the 2 years before you apply if you are claiming 1 point.

Changes to the median wage

You must meet the wage threshold at the beginning of the skilled work experience period you are claiming points for. If the median wage increases during your skilled work experience period your income does not need to increase, as long as you stay in the same job. If you change jobs you must meet the new wage threshold applicable at that time.

Evidence to include with your application

Include the following evidence with your application:

  • your previous and current employment agreements
  • the job descriptions for any roles you are claiming points from
  • a summary of earnings or tax statement from the Inland Revenue if you are a contractor, that confirms the period of work and any income over that period.

The evidence you provide must show your occupation, hours and pay.

Tips

You can combine points from skilled work experience in New Zealand with points from your qualification, income or New Zealand occupational registration.

The job title and description for your role should mostly match the job title and description in ANZSCO.

If you take an extended period of leave during your skilled work experience period, you may still be able to include this time if it is for parental leave, ACC leave or sick leave.

If you were invited to apply before 9 October 2023 you can use the previous visa criteria, which allowed you to claim points for skilled work experience gained outside of New Zealand. The previous visa criteria also allowed you to claim extra points for work that is on a skills shortage list.

Skilled work experience for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa (Pre October 2023)

Provide documents — like marriage and birth certificates — that prove your relationship to your partner and dependent children aged 24 or younger.

Partnership

Dependent children

If your partner or dependent children already have, or are applying for, a work, student or visitor visa based on their relationship to you, you must include them in your residence application.

There are 3 ways your partner or dependent children aged 16 or older can show us they speak English – through:

  • their citizenship, where they studied and the qualifications they gained
  • English language tests
  • paying for English language lessons.

The results of their English language test must:

  • meet the minimum score we set
  • be no more than 2 years old when you apply.

Find out about the requirements around citizenship, study and qualifications, the test results required, and how to buy English language lessons:

English language requirements for skilled residence visas

Note

We may ask for more proof of your family's ability to speak English to support your application. If we do, they may have to sit a test and send us the results.

Check your points

Check if you have enough points to be invited to apply. You need 6 points in total. You still need to meet all requirements and provide evidence in your visa application.

Skill category




6 Points

If you select the qualification skill category for your EOI, your qualification must be:

Check if your qualification is on the LQEA

How to apply for an IQA — NZQA

If you are invited to apply for residence, you will need to provide:

  • a copy of your qualification
  • your IQA, if your qualification is not from New Zealand or on the LQEA.

NOTE

The LQEA compares certain overseas qualifications to a New Zealand qualification type.

List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment


Note

You have indicated you do not have an international qualifications assessment from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority showing the type or level your qualification is equivalent to on the New Zealand qualifications framework. This means you do not meet the qualifications points requirements to be invited to apply for residence.

NOTE

An IQA compares your overseas qualification to a level on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), and a New Zealand qualification type if a direct comparison exists. IQAs are issued by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Appy for an IQA — NZQA





Note

You have indicated you do not have an international qualifications assessment from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority showing the type or level your qualification is equivalent to on the New Zealand qualifications framework. This means you do not meet the qualifications points requirements to be invited to apply for residence.




6 Points





Note

You have indicated you do not have an international qualifications assessment from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority showing the type or level your qualification is equivalent to on the New Zealand qualifications framework. This means you do not meet the qualifications points requirements to be invited to apply for residence.





Note

You have indicated you do not have an international qualifications assessment from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority showing the type or level your qualification is equivalent to on the New Zealand qualifications framework. This means you do not meet the qualifications points requirements to be invited to apply for residence.




6 Points

NOTE

If your remuneration is based on an annual salary, you will need to calculate your rate based on the hours you work per week.

Median wage comparison calculator

6 Points

6 Points

If you select the New Zealand occupational registration skill category in your Expression of Interest, you must:

  • hold a New Zealand registration that qualifies for points, and
  • meet any requirements to qualify for points for that registration.

Claiming skilled resident points from occupational registration

If you are invited to apply for residence, you will need to provide evidence you have a New Zealand registration that qualifies for points. The evidence must show

  • the registration licensing or certification authority
  • the registration, license, or certificate name and scope of practice, and
  • any requirements listed for the registration at claiming skilled resident points from occupational registration.

Claiming skilled resident points from occupational registration

Skilled work experience

6 Points

The skilled work experience additional information should be included with updates regarding the new SMC:

  • employment agreements and job descriptions (previous and current), specifying the occupation, hours and remuneration of any employment
  • a summary of earnings or tax statement (for work on a contract for services) from the Inland Revenue confirming the period of work and income over any period of work.

6 Points

6 Points

NOTE

If (after making your expression of interest) you are invited to apply for a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa you will need to provide evidence that you qualify for the points you are claiming.

You Total Points (Minimum of 100):
0 points

Process and costs

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.

Notes

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How to submit

Payment methods and receiving centre details if applicable.

Notes

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Conditions

These are the conditions that you must meet once you have your visa.

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission into New Zealand by completing a paper arrival card on the way to New Zealand or a digital traveller declaration before you arrive in New Zealand.

New Zealand Customs and Biosecurity also check that you meet their entry requirements.

Arriving in New Zealand

Alert

You can be refused entry permission if:

  • you do not meet our character requirements
  • your circumstances have changed since you were given a visa
  • you refuse to let us to take your photo, fingerprints or iris scan.

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.

Transferring my visa to a new passport

Travel

You can travel in and out of New Zealand as often as you like until your travel conditions expire — normally 2 years from the date you first arrive in New Zealand as a resident.

Alert

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

 

To travel in and out of New Zealand after your travel conditions expire, you need to apply for:

  • a variation to your travel conditions, or
  • a Permanent Resident Visa.

Extending the travel conditions of a resident visa

Resident to permanent resident