How can you apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category?

You have to submit an Expression of Interest followed by your Resident Visa application. 

The application process under the Skilled Migrant Category is complex. It consists of two main stages, the Expression of Interest and the actual Resident Visa application.

In some cases, a formal assessment of the applicant's qualifications will be necessary.

Our Licensed Immigration Advisers will be able to determine, whether you will have to apply for an external qualifications assessment in order to claim points for your professional expertise in your Expression of Interest or whether you might have to apply for your professional registration.


The first step: Your Expression of Interest, EOI

The first step of your residence process is to complete an online application, showing an interest in applying for residence in New Zealand.

In your online Expression of Interest, you will claim points for your qualifications, work experience, age etc. before submitting it to Immigration New Zealand.

All Expressions of Interest received will be ranked from highest to lowest points and placed into a Pool.

Every fortnight Immigration New Zealand selects the Expressions of Interest with the highest point scores from the Pool. 
This process is called selection.

The number of Expressions of Interest selected from the Pool is determined each time a selection takes place. It varies every fortnight and is based on the number of immigrants New Zealand is aiming to gain during each financial year. Only the best applicants will be successful.

The number of points you will need for your Expression of Interest to be selected from the pool depends on the quality of the competing candidates, who have entered their Expression of Interest at the same time as you.

In most cases, you will need a job offer in New Zealand to claim the 50-70 additional points that will make the deciding difference for the successful outcome of your Expression of Interest.


Expressions of Interest that have been successfully selected from the Pool will undergo a preliminary assessment.

Immigration New Zealand will check the credibility of the information provided by you in your Expression of Interest and only applicants who have successfully passed this stage, will then receive an Invitation to Apply for a Resident Visa.

How many points will you be able to claim in your Expression of Interest?

Check your points score by using the points table in our Quick Self-Check Guide.  


Step 2: Your  Resident Visa Application

At the start of this second stage of the application process, your application for a Resident Visa will be lodged with Immigration New Zealand.

You will have to provide evidence for the point claims made in your Expression of Interest by submitting all relevant documentation in the prescribed format. 

Immigration New Zealand will then assess your application against Government residence policy. They will also look at your potential to settle successfully and make a real contribution to New Zealand's social and economic development.

The assessment against settlement and contribution requirements will take into consideration the application as a whole, including information gained at interview, if an interview is conducted.

Depending on how well you are able to demonstrate your ability or potential to successfully settle in New Zealand, your application

  • may be approved and you will be granted a Resident Visa, or 
  • you may instead be granted a Work Visa, which will enable you to establish yourself in skilled employment in New Zealand, or 
  • your application may be declined. 

Read more about character:

Read more Visa FAQ's:

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Which Visa is Right for You?

Read more about the Points System:

Read more about health:

Read more about Critical Workers:

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The Skill Shortage Lists

Do you want to migrate to New Zealand?

Base your move on solid grounds: Ask us for a Free Assessment first!