New Zealand Resident Visa

New Zealand Resident Visa

Skilled workers wishing to migrate to New Zealand and live, work, study and settle in New Zealand permanently can apply for New Zealand resident visa either under Skilled Migrant Category or under Residence from Work visa category.

Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)

Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is a two-step points based invitation only visa for skilled workers. Those aged 20 - 55 years, scoring 100 points or more and meeting health, character and English requirements:

  1. Initially submit Expression of Interest (EOI) to apply for resident visa;
  2. EOI's are pooled and those scoring 160 points or more are selected from the pool every fortnight;
  3. Those selected are sent Invitation to Apply (ITA) for resident visa and can submit resident visa application under SMC;
  4. Those claiming points for skilled job offer or NZ Master's or PhD qualification and meeting SMC policy requirements are granted Resident Visa.

SMC Job Search Visa

If you score 160 or more points and meet all of the SMC policy requirements but do not have a skilled job offer from an employer in New Zealand or a New Zealand Master or Doctorate qualification gained after studying for two years in New Zealand, processing of your Resident Visa application will be put on hold and:

  1. You will be invited to apply for SMC Job Search Visa (JSV);
  2. On SMC JSV, you will have three months to travel to NZ and nine months from arrival to find skilled employment.
  3. Resident visa application will be approved upon securing skilled employment.

SMC JSV cannot be extended and you cannot include your partner and dependent child(ren) in your SMC JSV application. They can however apply for visitor or work or student visa in their own right. Check the Latest SMC EOI Selection Result.


If you hold Talent (Accredited Employer) work visa or Talent (Long Term Skills Shortage List) work visa, have been employed with the specified employer in the approved occupation for at least 24 months and meet health and character requirements, you can apply for resident visa under Residence From Work visa category. You can include your partner and dependent child(ren) in your resident visa application and they will need to meet health, character and English requirements.

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