The new Skilled Migrant Category

Find out if you might qualify for residency in New Zealand under the new SMC policy.

The key factors of the new SMC pathway to residence policy:

Only professionals who can demonstrate an exceptionally high capacity for their successful settlement will qualify for permanent residency.

To qualify for a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa under the new Skilled Migrant Category applicants need an acceptable job or job offer in New Zealand and a total of 6 points.
Migrants can claim points for their professional qualifications, occupational registration and by reaching certain income levels from their New Zealand job or job offer.
Additional points can be claimed for each year of skilled work in New Zealand, up to a maximum of three points. These points can be combined with points from New Zealand occupational registration, qualification, or income.

What does this new policy mean for you and your chances of migrating to New Zealand?

The points system as we used to know it is no longer applicable. Under the previous SMC 100 points were necessary to submit an Expression of Interest, EOI, but in reality applicants needed at least 160 points to move forward with their residence process.

The new points system is fundamentally different. A total of 6 points is needed now. For a comprehensive understanding of how the recent policy changes may impact your migration chances, we recommend that you join and participate in our Immigration and Job Hunt Webinar.

Dr. Carsten Hallwass, our Principal Immigration Adviser, will explain the details of the new SMC 6 policy and how we can assist you in achieving your goal of migrating to New Zealand under this updated policy.

Joining our Immigration and Job Hunt Webinar is easy!

be 55 years or underbe of good characteracceptable standard of healthhave english language capabilities

The Skilled Migrant Category Pathway

Do you qualify for permanent residency?

Self-Assessment | Points Guide

Use the information provided below and check your potential points score.

Our advice: Always ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers for a Free Professional Assessment to confirm your self-assessment.

You must have an acceptable job or job offer in New Zealand

Your employment must be with an accredited employer (an employer approved by Immigration New Zealand to employ workers on the Accredited Employer Work Visa, AEWV) 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.

You will need six points to be successful!

How many points can you claim?

Check your points score under the new policy settings:

You can claim 6 points for either
- New Zealand occupational registration in a specified occupation, requiring at least 6 years of training; or
- a PhD or Doctorate; or
- income from a New Zealand job or job offer that pays 3 times the median wage in New Zealand.

You can claim 5 points for either
- New Zealand occupational registration in a specified occupation, requiring at least 5 years of training; or
- a Master’s degree.

You can claim 4 points for either
- New Zealand occupational registration in a specified occupation, requiring at least 4 years of training; or
- an Honours Degree or Post-graduate Diploma; or
- income from a New Zealand job or job offer that pays 2 times the median wage in New Zealand.

You can claim 3 points for either
- New Zealand occupational registration in a specified occupation, requiring at least 2 years of training; or
- a Bachelor’s degree or Post-graduate Certificate; or
- income from a New Zealand job or job offer that pays 1.5 times the median wage in New Zealand.

You do not qualify for the necessary 6 points yet?

The good news is that you can improve your points score!

If your current point score is three, four, or five, you can increase it by providing evidence of your work experience in New Zealand.

Each year of work experience in New Zealand earns you one point, with a maximum of three points for three years of work experience.

You must also meet all of the following standard visa requirements:

  • you must be under the age limit of 56 years
  • you must be of good character
  • you must have an acceptable standard of health
  • you must have proven English language capabilities

Please note: Let us know if you have already reached the age limit of the Skilled Migrant Category or wonder whether you will be able to meet any of the other standard requirements. You might still be able to apply for a resident visa for New Zealand.

To find out how we can help and whether any of the other visa policies might work for you send us our Free Assessment form.

The Points System is Complicated...

The points system of the new 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 offer really match up and you qualify for the necessary points.

Key questions you need answered to find out if you might qualify for a resident visa via the Skilled Migrant Category pathway:

  • How can you find a job or obtain a job offer in New Zealand?
  • Do you meet the requirements of the new Skilled Migrant Policy?
  • How many points can you claim?
  • How can you gain work experience in New Zealand and increase your points score?

The Residence Visa Application Process under the Skilled Migrant Category policy:

Stage 1:

Expression of Interest (EOI)

First you lodge an online Expression of Interest, in which you will lay out your points claim (qualifications, amount of time spent for training that lead to professional registration (if registration is required in New Zealand).

Skilled Migrant Category policy states that the minimum points score for submitting an EOI is 6 points.

An automated electronic system may determine whether an applicant meets the requirements to be invited to apply under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Stage 2:

Residence Application

At the start of this second stage of the application process, your application for a Resident Visa will be submitted to Immigration New Zealand, including all documents proving the point claims made in your Expression of Interest.
Once your resident visa application has been lodged, Immigration New Zealand will assess it against Government residence policy. If successful, your application may be approved and you will be granted a Resident Visa.

Join our popular Immigration & Job Hunt Webinar!

Everything you need to know about migrating to New Zealand as a Skilled Migrant.

register your interest

Join our Principal Licensed Immigration Adviser Dr. Carsten Hallwass as he explains the process of migrating to New Zealand as a skilled migrant in a straight forward and easy to understand manner:

Following this detailed overview, you will have a chance to ask questions and also hear answers to questions put forward by fellow participants of the webinar.

By the end of the webinar you will have a good understanding of the immigration process and know how you can get started.

You will feel empowered to make a solid decision on your move to New Zealand!

Feedback we have received from Immigration and Job Hunt Webinar attendees:

"Thank you so much for the information on the webinar. You guys really are the definition of Informative. It was well presented, any questions asked were answered at one's doorstep. I am feeling confident that this is what I would like, to better my future not only for myself but for my family." K.P South Africa
"Fantastic webinar and most fruitful discussion I have seen so far for NZ immigration as compared to my previous experience. It was a free webinar where i paid nothing but all my questions were answered in a very smooth manner and In addition they committed to help us look for potential Job for NZ."
"The in-depth knowledge of the speakers was awesome and very relevant to the immigration process and further the presentation slides prepared by the team were fantastic, giving every key information to aspirants. I would definitely recommend New Zealand Immigration Concepts for any advice related to work visa, skilled migrant visa."
"I really enjoyed the webinar! There was so much information and the two advisers were very responsive to all of our questions. It was quite impressive and give us an insight of your expertise and control of the subject." M.M. France
"Thanks a lot for the insightful webinar, there were many doubts that got cleared after attending it. The webinar was well structured and had all the major topics covered."
"Thanks again for your support, I haven't come across such a professional team that goes well beyond customer service." M.S India
"We loved the webinar yesterday, I had joined one before but for my wife it was her first. We love the "vibe" of the topic "Immigration" into NZ." A.H Germany
"We wanted to thank you for the very informative webinar yesterday! Finally feeling optimistic about this transition process and our situation after attending yesterday and I appreciate that, especially in these times of such uncertainty."
"The webinar session was extremely good, helpful and it cleared many doubts which I had in mind and the Immigration Adviser's knowledge on immigration process was perfect." R N India
"I found the webinar very informative and I was impressed with your Advisers knowledge and professionalism too!" R.S (South Africa)
“Thank you for the webinar, it was definitely fruitful. I was highly impressed by the clarity in which guidance was provided in today's webinar by yourself and Dr. Carsten. It gave a boost to my confidence in the pathway towards NZ.” H.M
" It was very useful to get an overview about the most important topics. Also the opportunity to ask some questions during the presentation was very good." N. W (Germany)
"The webinar was informative indeed -.We are glad that we joined in." A.R

Read more about visa requirements:

Do you want to migrate to New Zealand?

Base your move on solid grounds: Ask us for a Free Assessment and join our Immigration Webinar.

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“In contrast to another Immigration consultancy that we contacted, your company offered a free webinar and an assessment, warm, approachable staff that communicates openly with potential customers. I understand that your company is a fee for services provider, but that has not been conveyed as a prerequisite during the decision making process.”

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At first, Maj kindly explained the whole process and what to expect. I was coached and introduced to New Zealand job market by their Job Search team, and getting assistance until I got a job in the country. The Visa team would also follow me up on my pending documents, so I never felt left out. Truly recommended for those seeking out an option to live in New Zealand. Big thanks from me and my whole family for things NZIC did for us..!

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NZIC helped me in my way to get a Visa and job search. They were always available to talk to and were open to all sorts of questions. No matter how random they were. Very friendly staff. And even when they had changes in employee and advisors, they always stayed professional and up to date. I can only say good things and recommend them highly.

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Very pleased and satisfied with the service we received from NZIC. They assisted me and my family from start to finish. Always willing to assist, and communicated our progress every step of the way. With their assistance we managed to obtain permanent resident visa status.

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