New Zealand Skilled Residence Visa


New Zealand Skilled Residence Visa

Effective from September 2022, skilled workers can apply for New Zealand residence visa under any one of the following newly introduced Skilled Residence Visa categories:

  1. Skilled Residence under Straight to Residence Visa category (employment or job offer required); or
  2. Skilled Residence under Work to Residence Visa category (employment for 24 months in New Zealand required); or
  3. Skilled Residence under Highly Paid Visa category (employment for 24 months in New Zealand required).

Skilled workers not qualifying for Skilled Residence Visa, have the option to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Visa category. SMC category is under review and pending review selections of Expression of Interest remain suspended. Review is expected to be completed in later half of 2022, whereafter SMC category should be available for application under new criteria.

Skilled Residence - Straight To Residence Visa Requirements

Straight To Residence visa category will open for applications on 5 September 2022 and to be eligible, skilled workers must meet the following requirements:

  1. be aged 55 years or under;
  2. be employed or have job offer from an accredited employer in an occupation on Tier 1 of the Green List
  3. employment or job offer must be full-time and permanent or for at least 12 months fixed term contract;
  4. independent contractors may also be eligible in some cases;
  5. meet health, character and English language requirements.

Skilled Residence - Work To Residence Visa Requirements

Work To Residence visa category also opens for applications in September 2022 and to be eligible, skilled workers must meet the following requirements:

  1. be aged 55 years or under at the time of residence visa application;
  2. be employed or have a job offer from an accredited employer in an occupation on Tier 2 of the Green List;
  3. have worked in New Zealand in an occupation on Tier 2 of the Green List for at least 24 months during 30 month period immediately preceeding residence visa application;
  4. employment on or after 29 September 2021 is counted within the 24 months work period;
  5. employment or job offer must be full-time and permanent or for at least 12 months fixed term contract;
  6. meet health, character and English language requirements.

Skilled Residence - Highly Paid Visa Requirements

This visa also opens for applications in September 2022 and to be eligible, applicants must meet te following requirements:

  1. be aged 55 years or younger;
  2. worked for an accredited employer for 24 monthsfor at least 24 months during 30 month period immediately preceeding residence visa application;
  3. employment is paid at twice the median wage rate (currently $55.52 per hour or equivalent annual salary);
  4. meet health, character and English language requirements.

Skilled Migrant Category Visa Requirements

As mentioned, selection of EOIs and issue of ITAs continue to be suspended until further notice.

Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is a two-step points based invitation only visa for skilled workers. Those aged 20 - 55 years, scoring 100 or more points and meeting health, character and English language 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;
  3. those selected are sent Invitation to Apply (ITA) for residence visa and can submit residence visa application under SMC;
  4. Residence visa applications of those meeting the selection points score, meeting all of the policy requirements and claiming points for skilled job offer or New Zealand Master's or Doctorate qualification are approved and they are granted Resident Visa;
  5. Resident visa applications of those meeting the selection points score and all of the policy requirements but not claiming points for skilled job offer or New Zealand Master's or Doctorate qualification are put on hold and they are invited to apply for SMC Job Search Visa.

SMC Job Search Visa

SMC job search visa is issued to allow applicants to travel to New Zealand and search for skilled employment. They will:

  1. have three months to travel to New Zealand and nine months from arrival to find skilled employment;
  2. Resident visa application will be approved upon securing skilled employment.

SMC JSV cannot be extended and applicants cannot include their partner and dependent child(ren) in SMC JSV application. Partners and dependent children can however apply for visitor or work or student visa in their own right.

Contact Us

Contact us if you have received employment offer from an accredited employer and wish to apply for Skilled Residence Visa.

Copyright © 2016 | Kaimah Immigration Consultants

This website includes images from Tourism New Zealand and Tourism Australia