Skilled Migrant Category Points Guide

Can you apply for a Resident Visa under the Skilled Migrant Category?

Use our Points Guide to check whether you might qualify for a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.

Then ask us for a professional assessment to make sure you get it right before you start your immigration process!


Minimum Requirements of the Skilled Migrant Category

To qualify for a resident visa under this policy, you must meet all of the following minimum requirements:


Can you reach the minimum points score of 100 points?

Calculate your points score and find out what your points score means for your Expression of Interest


Points for skilled employment

Current skilled employment or offer of skilled employment in New Zealand 


Bonus points for a skilled job or offer of skilled employment

Area of absolute skill shortage


A region outside of Auckland


Partner's skilled employment or offer of skilled employment in New Zealand


High remuneration (introduced under the new policy)


Skilled Work experience

Two years


Four years


Six years


Eight years


Ten years or more


Bonus points for skilled work experience gained in New Zealand 

One year or more


Bonus points for work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage

2 to 5 years


Six years or more


Recognised Qualifications

Recognised level 3 qualification (if included in the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment) introduced under the new policy


Recognised level 4-6 qualification


Recognised level 7 or 8 qualification


Recognised level 9 or 10 qualification


Bonus points for qualifications

Two years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised New Zealand Bachelor degree (level 7) 


One year of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised post-graduate New Zealand qualification


Two years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised post-graduate New Zealand qualification


Partner qualification - recognised level 7 or 8


Partner qualification - recognised level 9+



20 - 39 years


40 - 44 years


45 - 49 years


50 - 55 years




What happens if you reach the minimum points score of 100? 

Great! If you score 100 points or more and meet health, character, language and age requirements, you can submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) and might subsequently be eligible to apply for a Resident Visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

However, please note that our Points Guide can only give you a very first indication of where you stand. Our Licensed Immigration Advisers strongly recommend to refrain from submitting an Expression of Interest based on this first self-assessment.

The point system of the Skilled Migrant Category is more complicated than it might appear at first glance and far reaching errors occur when it comes to establishing whether qualifications, work experience and job offers really match up and qualify for the necessary points. 

We have experienced many cases in our practice where applicants have overestimated their point scores, making it very difficult to remedy the damage done to their Expression of Interest after it had been submitted to the authorities. 

We strongly advise our clients not to submit an Expression of Interest unless we can be absolutely confident that it will be selected in the subsequent selection. 

Our advice: Ask us for a Free Assessment of your chances to confirm that you will qualify before you submit your EOI!


If you reach the minimum points score of 100 will this guarantee you that your EOI will be selected? 

Unfortunately not. The interest in New Zealand exceeds the capacities for accepting migrants by far and the competition amongst skilled migrants is strong.

So how many points will you really need to have a realistic chance for your EOI to be selected?

The short answer is: You will currently need 160 points for your EOI to be selected from the pool. 

Read more about the selection process and the current minimum points scores: How many points do you need?


What happens if you do not reach the points score of 160 yet? 

In order to reach a points score of 160 or more most applicants will have to have a job offer in New Zealand to claim those necessary extra points. 


Most applicants will need a Job Offer for their EOIs to be successful

9 out of 10 successful applicants had claimed points for a job offer when their Expression of Interests were selected.


How can I find a job in New Zealand?

Job hunting in a new country is a daunting task.

To secure a job offer you will need to understand the local labour market, have a competitive CV and cover letter, tailored to the New Zealand market. It will also be crucial for you to know how to successfully network and understand New Zealand workplace culture.

New Zealand employers might be hesitant to offer you a job, as they expect the employment and visa process to be difficult and time consuming. How can you convince them that you are their ideal candidate for the role you wish to apply for?

We can help!  Our Job Search Professionals have successfully assisted migrants like you with their job search in New Zealand for many years!



To find out how the points system works and what you need to know, listen to Leo, our Communication Coordinator:



Free Immigration Assessment 


Ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers

If you want to find out what it takes to migrate to New Zealand ask our Licensed Immigration Adviser Dr.Carsten Hallwass for a Free Assessment.

Free Assessment
"Maj, Anna, Dr Carsten and the rest of the contributing team at NZIC expertly navigated me through the very daunting and time-consuming application processes. I was on a plane bound for New Zealand, work visa in hand, before I knew it. Highly recommend this service!! Thank you to the whole team at NZIC for helping to bring my dream to fruition!"
Ben H.