Skilled Migrant Category

How To Get Your Visa | Expressions of Interest

How does the
Skilled Migrant Category Work?

For potential Skilled Migrants the Immigration Service uses a points system to decide whether you will be invited to apply for residence. You begin by submitting an ‘expression of interest’ to the New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS).

To lodge an expression of interest you need to:

• be of good health
• be of good character
• have a reasonable standard of English Click for popup box with details
• be aged 20 – 55 (inclusive)
• be registered with the relevant New Zealand occupational registration authority, if required
• score 100 or more points in the points test below

Points are awarded as follows:

Skilled employment:
• Current employment in NZ for 12 months or more (ongoing) …60 pts
• Current employment in NZ for less than 12 months …50 pts
• Offer of skilled employment in NZ …50 pts

Clearly, getting a job offer is one of the best ways of increasing your points total. Employers often only want to receive applications from candidates who already have the right to work in New Zealand, but sometimes they are willing to interview others.

Our guide: Things you MUST do when writing a New Zealand CV/Resume will help maximise your chances of getting a job interview.

Bonus points for employment or offer of employment in:

• An identified future growth area or area of absolute skills shortage10 pts
• Region outside Auckland …10 pts
• Spouse / partner in skilled employment or offer of employment …20 pts

Relevant work experience: (Your experience must be in a comparable labour market Click for popup box with details ) or an area of absolute skills shortage
• 2 years …10 pts
• 4 years …15 pts
• 6 years …20 pts
• 8 years …25 pts
• 10 years …30 pts

Additional bonus points if work experience in New Zealand:
• 1 years …5 pts
• 2 years …10 pts
• 3 years or more …15 pts

Additional bonus points for work experience in an identified
future growth area or area of absolute
skills shortage:

• 2 to 5 years …10 pts
• 6 years or more work experience in future growth area …15 pts
• 2 to 5 years work experience in job on Long Term Skill Shortage List10 pts
• 6 years or more work experience in job on Long Term Skill Shortage List15 pts

• Recognised basic qualification (e.g. trade qualification, diploma) …40 pts
• Recognised graduate qualification (e.g. bachelors’ degree with/without honours) …50 pts
• Recognised post-graduate qualification (e.g. Masters degree or higher) …55 pts

Bonus points for:
• Recognised NZ bachelor degree with least two years study in NZ …10 pts
• Recognised post-graduate NZ qualification with at least one years study in NZ …10 pts
• Recognised post-graduate NZ qualification with at least two years study in NZ …15 pts
• Qualification in an identified future growth area or area of absolute skill shortage …10 pts
• Spouse / partner basic qualifications (e.g. trade qualification, diploma) …10 pts
• Spouse / partner graduate qualifications …20 pts

Age (20 to 55 yrs)
• 20-29 …30 pts
• 30-39 …25 pts
• 40-44 …20 pts
• 45-49 …10 pts
• 50-55 …5 pts

Close Family in New Zealand
• Close family support in New Zealand …10 pts

Close family is adult brothers, sisters, adult children (17 years and over) and parents of either the principal applicant or their partner.

The Steps You Need To Take:

Step 1: You complete an initial self assessment online
Use the Immigration Service’s Points Calculator here.

Step 2: Still online, you submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
You can do this here.

Step 3: Expressions of Interest are ranked from highest to lowest points.
People who score 140 points and above on their EOI for residence will automatically be invited to apply.People who score between 100 and 140 points and have a New Zealand job (or job offer) will be selected in sufficient numbers to meet the New Zealand Immigration Programme numbers. If enough places are available, other EOIs may be selected on the basis of additional specific criteria which the Minister of Immigration will set every six months. If your EOI is not selected from the pool the first time it will remain in the pool for six months. If it is still unsuccessful you can lodge another EOI if you wish to.

Step 4: You are invited to apply for residence
At this stage you will need to send the Immigration Service all the necessary documents to support the claims you made in your EOI – such as passports, qualifications and relevant certificates.

Step 5: Decision-making
The Immigration Service will assess your application for residence against Government residence policy and look at your ability to settle successfully. Further verification of some of the information you provided in your EOI will be undertaken.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, your application can be approved with a permanent residence visa or a visa allowing you to live in NZ while looking for work.

Skilled applicants without a job offer can be granted permanent residence. This includes but is not limited to people with qualifications and work experience in areas of absolute skill shortage or future growth. Examples include nurses, engineers, ICT and the creative industries.