Self-Assessment | Points Guide

Do you qualify for a Skilled Migrant Resident Visa for New Zealand?

Our Self-Assessment guide will give you all the information you need for a quick first check of your chances of migrating under this policy.

Key questions you need answered before you submit your Expression of Interest:

  • Do you meet the minimum requirements of the Skilled Migrant Policy?
  • How many points can you claim? Calculate your points score under the points system.
  • How many points you will really need for your Expression of Interest to be successful?
  • How can you increase your points score?

Our advice: Always ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers for a free professional assessment to confirm your self-assessment result.

be 55 years or underbe of good characteracceptable standard of healthhave english language capabilitiesreach a minimum of 100 points

Do you meet the minimum requirements of the Skilled Migrant Policy?

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

How many points can you claim?

Calculate your points score:

Points for Skilled Employment

Offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand

Bonus points for offer of skilled employment or skilled employment

In a region outside of Auckland
Partner's skilled employment or offer of skilled employment in New Zealand
High remuneration

Points for Skilled Work Experience

2 years
4 years
6 years
8 years
10 years or more

Bonus points for skilled work experience

1 year or more of work experience gained in New Zealand
2 to 5 years of work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage
6 years or more of work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage

Points for Recognised Qualifications

Level 3 qualification (if included in the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment)
Level 4-6 qualification
Level 7-8 qualification
Level 9-10 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

Points for Age

20-39 years
40-44 years
45-49 years
50-55 years

Note: If you have already reached the age limit of the Skilled Migrant Category, you might still be able to apply for a resident visa for New Zealand. Let us know if you would like to find out more.

Do you reach the minimum points score of 100?

That is a good start!

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

However, a points score of 100 will no longer be sufficient for your Expression of Interest to be selected.

Gif showing the need for a job offer and animation of EOI selection pool with most successful cases needing a job offer

How many points you will really need for your Expression of Interest to be successful?

The growing worldwide interest in Immigration to New Zealand exceeds New Zealand's capacities for accepting migrants by far and the competition among skilled migrants is strong.

Only candidates who can demonstrate an exceptionally high level of settlement capacity will now qualify to become permanent residents.

On 9 November 2022 Immigration New Zealand selected all EOIs at the threshold of 160 points.

The first selection of EOIs in 2023 took place on 18 January.

To better align with the future direction of the Skilled Migrant Category the points threshold for future selections will increase to 180 points.

Facit: Rather than the minimum of 100 points stipulated in the SMC policy, you now need 160/180 points for your Expression of Interest to be selected, and for you to get a chance to subsequently be invited to apply for a Resident Visa.

How can you increase your points score to at least 160 or even 180?

By far the best way to increase your points score for your EOI is by claiming points for an offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand.

Claim 50 to 110 points for a job in New Zealand!

First, to gain a better understanding of the points system, you might want to take a closer look at a previous selection of Expressions of Interest:

EOI Selection on 18 March 2020:

684 Expressions of Interest have been selected.

Of those

- 615 candidates had a job offer in New Zealand;

- only 69 candidates were able to reach the necessary points score of 160 points without having to claim points for a job offer in New Zealand.


Successful EOIs with a Job Offer in New Zealand


Successful EOIs without a Job Offer in New Zealand

These numbers confirm what we experience in our practice: Most candidates will need a job offer for their EOI to be successful and to be able to move to the next stage of their residence application process.

Another way of looking at this is by analysing the consistency of the pool on selection day:

  • Only about half of all Expressions of Interest in the pool were successfully selected
  • The vast majority of successful candidates, 46%, had claimed points for a job in New Zealand
  • Only 5% of all EOI candidates where successful without claiming points for a job
  • Nearly half of all EOIs in the pool were not successful
graphic of need for job offer, with most successful EOIs in the latest selection needing a job offer

While the number of EOIs in the pool can change from one fortnight to another, the proportions of the outcome generally remain the same.

Our advice: Start your job search in New Zealand well ahead of your arrival in New Zealand. Claim up to 110 points for a job in New Zealand!

Make full use of our free Immigration and Job Hunt Webinar to find out how you can give your job hunt in New Zealand a powerful boost that will significantly increase your chances of finding a job in New Zealand and lift you over the points threshold for your Expression of Interest.

Do you calculate 160 points or more for your EOI?

Great! You might be able to claim enough points for your Expression of Interest and have a realistic chance to be selected.
However, the Points System is a lot more complicated than it might appear at first sight.

Nearly half of all EOIs in the pool will not be successful. They will remain in the pool for 6 months before being ejected.

The Points System is Complicated...

The points 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.

The skill shortage lists give you a good indication if you want to find out whether: you can claim bonus points for your Expression of Interest, you can fast-track your work visa, or your profession is in high demand in the New Zealand job market

What happens if you claim too many points in your EOI?

If you accidentally claim more points than you are actually entitled to, your migration process will come to an early end. This might happen at any stage of the process:

  • If your points don't match up with the SMC policy when Immigration New Zealand conducts their preliminary verification, you will not receive an invitation to apply for your residence visa
  • If your EOI passes this first check, you will be asked to provide evidence for the points you have claimed in your EOI during your resident visa application stage
  • If the evidence does not support your points claim, your resident visa application will be declined

Any of these setbacks will throw you back many month, as you will have to submit a new Expression of Interest and start your migration process again from the beginning.

Claiming too many points in your EOI is just as detrimental to your residence process as not reaching the 160 points mark.

A strong argument:

You can claim 50-110 points if you have a job offer in New Zealand!

As we have shown, the majority of successful EOIs were claiming points for a job offer in New Zealand. A job in New Zealand will be one of the most powerful tools for the success of your residence process:

  • An offer of skilled employment will entitle you to 50 points. This could already lift you over the 160 points threshold for your EOI
  • If your job is located outside of Auckland, in an area of absolute skill shortage and/or providing a high salary, you can claim up to 60 additional points
  • A skilled job in New Zealand will entitle you to up to 110 points in addition to your points for your qualification and skilled work experience, with a potential of 20 additional points if your partner has a job too
It is realistic to assume that a job offer will very likely catapult you way over the 160 points minimum score.

So what can you actually do to improve your chances?

While our Licensed Immigration Advisers will ensure that you will claim the maximum points score achievable for you in your EOI, working with our Job Search Professionals on obtaining a job offer in New Zealand will most probably make the deciding difference for you.

Our Job Search Professionals will provide you with their knowledge of the local job market, of job search techniques used and job search etiquette appropriate in New Zealand.

Partnering with our Job Search Professionals will give you the necessary tools and empower you to approach the job market in New Zealand in the best possible manner.

Working with them will ultimately enable you to claim those important extra points in your Expression of Interest.

Read more about our Fusion Service and how it will improve your chances of becoming a resident.

Join our popular Immigration & Job Hunt Webinar!

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

register your interest

Watch our 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

Our advice to you: Start working with our visa and job search teams now to make the most of the time before your arrival!

A lot of work can be done before you leave your home country.

  • Get to know the job market
  • Work actively on becoming the best candidate you can be in the NZ job market
  • Start your job search process
  • Start networking with key players in your industry

We work with our clients on being ready for their move as soon as that will be feasible.

This will give you peace of mind, knowing that the big step you are about to take is well prepare and based on solid groundwork.

Ask us how you can get ready for your move: Send us our Free Assessment form and join our Immigration and Job Hunt Webinar.

Read more about points:

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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