How long does it take to get PR?

How long does it take to become a Permanent Resident through the Skilled Migrant Category? 

Our reply: "We will time your process according to your specific situation."

The application process under the Skilled Migrant Category is lengthy, and several hurdles have to be overcome until you get to your goal, your Resident Visa. 

The entire process consists of 2 main stages, the Expression of Interest and the Resident Visa application. In many cases, external Qualification Assessments must be obtained, and some migrants have to apply for their professional registration. 

It will take many months from the day you start preparing for your move until your Resident Visas are finally issued and stamped into your passports. 

You are always welcome to ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers for a free assessment on your migration options.

Proper planning and preparation will save you time. 

Once we start our cooperation, we will provide you with a list of documents needed for your visa applications, tailored to your background by one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers.

It will be up to you to provide us with those documents. Some evidence is relatively easy to compile. Other documents are more challenging to obtain.

We generally advise our clients to start preparing their arrival as soon as they are sure that they want to migrate to New Zealand, regardless of whether that will be in a month or a year. 

A lot of preparation can be done while you are still in your home country, and it is usually easier to obtain documents while still there. 

Getting ready for your move might take longer than you had anticipated.

You may be required to have your qualifications assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or apply for your professional registration.

The current processing time of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority is 4-5 months, and this can be a considerable hold up for your migration process if you do not plan.

If English is not your first language, your documents might have to be translated into English by a Certified Translator before they can be submitted to Immigration New Zealand. Determining which documents need to be translated, communicating with the translator and waiting for the translations to be completed will take several weeks. We can get that organised for you.

Any work you can do early on in the process will help you build a solid basis for your arrival.  We will identify potential hurdles right at the beginning and provide you with a solution.

Thorough preparation will give you the peace of mind that essential formalities have already been taken care of.


Your Work Visa Application

Most migrants will have to apply for a work visa on their pathway to residence.

Immigration New Zealand anticipates their processing time to be between 1 and 3 months. Still, applications may take longer to process if they need to check your information or request more information from you.

As we will have collated all necessary documentation at an early stage, no valuable time will be lost with taking care of important formalities when you are eager for your work visa to be granted as soon as possible so you can start working.

Our Licensed Immigration Advisers will liaise with your future employer and advise them regarding their obligations, including Labour Market Testing.

Your work visa application will be prepared to a high standard to ensure a smooth process once it has been lodged with Immigration New Zealand and avoid unnecessary delays. 

While your application is pending our  Licensed Immigration Advisers will take care of any queries. Immigration New Zealand might have and follow through to completion.  


Your Resident Visa Process 

Our Licensed Immigration Adviser will let you know when you are eligible and ready for your resident visa application.

By that time all your documents will be in place. As soon as your Licensed Immigration Adviser is certain that your EOI will have a realistic chance of being selected during the following Selection, within the next two weeks, we will submit your Expression of Interest.

A verification process will take place where Immigration New Zealand undertakes a preliminary check of the credibility of your points claim. Once approved, you will receive an Invitation to Apply for a Residence Visa, ITA. 

We will submit your Resident Visa application without delays. 

The current processing time by Immigration New Zealand for Resident Visa Applications under the Skilled Migrant Category is six months.

Delays can occur if your documentation is incomplete or if any health or character issues need to be assessed during the process. 

It is important that you inform us as soon as possible of any issues that may arise, such as previous convictions or health problems so that we can prepare for a Medical or Character Waiver Application.


Find out more about visa processing times for other visa types. 


Are you eligible for a Resident Visa under the Skilled Migrant Category?

Find out by using our Quick Self-Check Guide or talk to our Employment Adviser about finding a job that suits your professional background. Also, ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers whether you qualify.


Read more about becoming a New Zealand resident through the Skilled Migrant Category:


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