Claiming Points for Skilled Employment

You can claim points for skilled employment if you have a job or a job offer in New Zealand.

As New Zealand is aiming to attract global skills and knowledge, the Skilled Migrants Category also acknowledges that migrants who succeed in gaining skilled employment in New Zealand will find it easier to settle into their new life.

You can claim 50 points in your Expression of Interest if you have skilled employment in New Zealand.

Skilled employment is employment that meets a minimum remuneration threshold and requires specialist, technical or management expertise obtained through

  1. the completion of recognised relevant qualifications; or
  2. relevant work experience; or
  3. the completion of recognised relevant qualifications and/or work experience.

Relevance of qualification to employment

Qualifications are relevant to employment if:

  1. the major subject area of the principal applicant's recognised qualification is directly applicable to the employment; or
  2. an immigration officer is satisfied that the qualification was a key factor in the employer's decision to employ the principal applicant in that position.

Relevance of work experience to employment

Work experience is relevant to employment if the employer considers, and an immigration officer is satisfied that:

  1. the work experience is directly applicable to the employment; or
  2. the offer of employment could not reasonably have been made or the employment could not reasonably have been undertaken if the applicant did not have that work experience.

Additional requirements for skilled employment

Skilled employment only qualifies for points if the employment is:

  1. for a position that is paid by salary or wages or on a per activity basis, or in terms of a contract for service (payment by commission and/or retainer are not acceptable); and
  2. accompanied by evidence of full or provisional registration, or evidence of eligibility for registration by the New Zealand Medical or Dental Council subject only to an interview with the relevant registration authority on arrival, if full or provisional registration is required by law to undertake the employment.

Bonus points

Specific attributes will add to the desired skill level for migrants. They will add bonus points to the 50 points base for a New Zealand job.

Bonus points are available:

  1. for employment in areas of absolute skills shortage,
  2. for employment outside the Auckland region,
  3. for high remuneration

Your employment must be 'skilled'

The assessment of whether a job offer can be classified as skilled is based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), which associates a skill level with each occupation.  

Your employment will be considered to be 'skilled' if:

  • it substantially matches an ANZSCO occupation at skill levels 1–3 and you are paid $25.50 or more per hour or the equivalent annual salary;
  • it substantially matches an ANZSCO occupation at skill levels 4–5 and you are paid $38.25 or more per hour or the equivalent annual salary;

Additional minimum requirements

In order to qualify for points, your job or job offer must not only be skilled but also fulfil the following minimum requirements:

  • it must be full time (at least 30 hours per week)
  • it must be for a position that is paid by salary or wages or in terms of a contract for service – payment by the commission and/or retainer are not acceptable
  • it must be ongoing and sustainable.

Ongoing means your job offer must be for employment with a single employer in a job which is clearly stated to be 'permanent', or 'indefinite', or for a term of at least 12 months, with an option for you of further employment after that time. If you are offered a contract and have a history of working on contracts in your occupation, then this may be accepted as ‘skilled employment’ if Immigration New Zealand is satisfied that the work is likely to continue.

Sustainable means that Immigration New Zealand must be satisfied that the employer can afford to pay you the stated salary or wages.

How many points will you be able to claim for skilled employment?

Bonus points for skilled employment:

If your job is particularly valuable to New Zealand, you will be able to claim bonus points. A job or job offer in an identified future growth area gives you 10 more points. Work in an area of absolute skills shortage, or located outside Auckland is another 10 points each. Additionally, if your partner (as a non-principal applicant on your application) has a skilled job or job offer, you can claim another 20 points.

What if you are self-employed?

You cannot claim points for Skilled Employment if you are self-employed. If you are or will be self-employed and wish to gain residence, you may be eligible under one of the business migration categories.

In order to use your New Zealand job or job offer to qualify for points for your Expression of Interest it must fulfil strict minimum requirements:

Proving that you meet the level of training and/or experience required and are in fact eligible for points for Skilled Employment is a complex matter and any mistakes will result in your EOI being rejected from the pool!

Our advice: Talk to our Licensed Immigration Advisers to find out what the skill and remuneration requirements for your occupation are before you start your job search. Then work with our Job Search Team to search for a job that will satisfy visa requirements and entitle you to points for Skilled Employment.

Read more about character:

Read more Visa FAQ's:

Which Visa is Right for You?

Read more about the Points System:

Read more about health:

Read more about Critical Workers:

The Skill Shortage Lists

Do you want to migrate to New Zealand?

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