The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) offers you the opportunity to move to New Zealand to work and live permanently.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for residence under SMC you must:

  • be 55 or under
  • be healthy
  • be of good character
  • speak English

To decide if you can apply we use a points system. You get points for age, experience, employability and qualifications.

How to apply

There are two steps:

  • You complete an Expression of Interest, telling us about yourself, your family, your skills and your experience.
  • If you have enough points, we accept your Expression of Interest, and send you an Invitation to Apply. You complete it, and return it to us with your supporting documents.

If you want to qualify under the Skilled Migrant Category, there are some requirements you must meet.

Minimum standards

You can include your partner and dependent children in your application, but you all have to meet these standards.

  • Health: You must be healthy. If you are invited to apply for residence, you and your family will have to be assessed by an approved doctor.
  • Character: You and your family must be of good character. We don't allow some people who have committed serious crimes to come to New Zealand.
  • English language: You and your family will need to meet a certain level of ability in spoken and written English. See 'Find out more', below.
  • Occupational registration: If you need occupational registration and do not have it, you will not be able to work in your chosen occupation under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Claiming points on your Expression of Interest (EOI)

If you meet the minimum standards, you will want to know how many points you can claim on your EOI. You'll need at least 100 points to go into the 'pool' that we select EOIs from every two weeks.

  • Skilled employment: You can claim 50-60 points for a job or a job offer in New Zealand that requires specialist, technical, or management expertise. You can get bonus points, for example if the job/job offer is in certain industries, or if your partner also has a skilled job/job offer.
  • Work experience: You can claim points for at least two years' work experience in the same field in which you have skilled employment. An example is if your experience is in New Zealand, or in certain industries.
  • Recognised qualification: We award 40-60 points for a variety of trade certificates, diplomas, bachelors degrees and post-graduate qualifications. You can get bonus points for qualifications, too.
  • Age: We award a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 30 points for age. You must be under 55 years old to apply.
  • Close family: You can claim 10 points if you have close family with New Zealand residence or citizenship.

Use our free service to find out whether you could qualify for this visa. Fill out the assessment form. Make sure that all information provided is authentic in order to make a proper assessment.

QUICK ASSESMENT