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New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa | Immigrate to New Zealand In 2023

New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa | Immigrate to New Zealand In 2023

The New Zealand government recently implemented a new 6-point system for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa (SMC). The changes are meant to make it easier for qualified workers to get visas and for those who meet specific criteria to become permanent residents of the nation.

As of October 2023, the new SMC points-based system, which requires candidates to meet the 6-point threshold, will replace the current eligibility requirements.

As many of you are aware, this visa is required for anyone wishing to immigrate to New Zealand. Potential candidates will be significantly impacted by these additional eligibility restrictions.

In this article, we will look at what is Skilled Migrant Visa in New Zealand, the NZ Points Calculator for SMC Visa, the Starting Date of this Program, the eligibility criteria, the visa requirements, the number of applications accepted for this visa category, and the time it takes to process them, what an expression of interest (EOI) is, and much more.

Overview of Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand (SMC)

SMC stands for “Skilled Migrant Category“

The Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand is a points-based visa category that allows foreigners to live and work in New Zealand permanently. To be eligible for this visa, candidates must meet a number of requirements. Among them include having the requisite skills and certifications, being under the age of 55, and being in good moral and physical health.

New Points Based System for SMC Visa NZ

Previously, an SMC Visa required 180 points. The New Zealand government has now implemented a new point system. The new scoring system will go into effect on October 9th, 2023. Applicants will only need six points to be eligible to apply.

The New Points System for SMC Visa is divided into three major areas.

  • New Zealand Occupational Registration
  • Qualification
  • Income

Only one of the main categories stated above can get you points. Points from different categories cannot be added together. Points from your qualification, for example, cannot be coupled with points from your New Zealand occupational registration.

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Work Experience is a subcategory. Work experience can earn you additional points.

Important: Work Experience points can be combined with points from occupational registration, qualification, or income to reach the total required (6) points.

You may calculate your points using our precise NZ SMC VISA points calculator below.

Skilled Migrant Visa Points Calculator New Zealand Occupational Registration Points

Currently, 119 vocations are eligible for Occupational Registration. These jobs come from four different work sectors.

  • Construction and Building
  • Health and Social Services
  • Maritime
  • Professionals and other trades

See the complete list of Occupation HERE

To earn points in this category, you must have completed occupational training in any of the listed occupations.

Requirement Points
2 Years of Occupational Training 3 Points
4 Years of Occupational Training 4 Points
5 Years of Occupational Training 5 Points
6 Years of Occupational Training 6 Points

Points for Qualification

You will receive 3 to 6 points depending on your degree of schooling. The New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) will be used to evaluate all educational qualification levels. Find out more about NZQF here.

Education Points
Level 7 Bachelor’s degree 3 Points
  • Level 8 Bachelor Honors Degree or Postgraduate Diploma
  • Level 8 Postgraduate Certificate
4 Points
Level 9 Master’s Degree 5 Points
Level 10 Doctoral Degree 6 Points


Earnings Points

You will be able to earn points based on your earnings from your job. This category will replace the old “Highly Paid Residence Visa” announced in 2022, and will instead allow individuals who have been promised high salary to apply for the new Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand.

Salary Points
1.5 times the median wage (currently NZD
NZD $44.49 / hour) or more
3 Points
2 times the median wage (currently NZD
$59.32 an hour) or more
4 Points
3 times the median wage (currently NZD
$88.98 an hour) or mo
6 Points

Points for Work Experience

If you wish to use your work experience in New Zealand to earn more points, you must meet the wage threshold for the duration of your skilled work experience.

Work Experience Points
1 Year of Work Experience 1 Points
2 Year of Work Experience 2 Points
3 Year of Work Experience 3 Points

Requirements for skilled labor:

  • Full-time (at least 30 hours per week) Work experience in a skilled field is necessary. There is also a salary barrier dependent on the ANZSCO level of the position.
  • ANZSCO level 1 to 3 employees must earn at least the median wage.
  • ANZSCO level 4 to 5 occupations require at least 1.5 times the median wage.

Visit Immigration New Zealand (INZ) HERE for more details

Other Conditions for a Skilled Migrant Visa in New Zealand

  • Age – The candidate must be 55 or younger.
  • Language Proficiency – English language proficiency must be demonstrated.
  • Certificate of Health
  • Character reference
  • Job offer from any reputable New Zealand employer

Job Opportunity

To apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa in New Zealand, you must have a job offer from a New Zealand-approved firm. Even if you receive the highest number of points in the above-mentioned categories, a job offer is required. The job offer must meet the following requirements.

  • A weekly minimum of 30 hours
  • The employment provided is for at least 12 months.
  • Contracts that are permanent or have a set period

SMC Application Acceptance Rate

The Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand allows for an unlimited number of persons to obtain permanent residency. If your visa application is granted, you will be eligible for New Zealand residency if you meet the visa eligibility requirements.

SMC NZ Process Time

All submissions that contain complete and accurate information will be decided within 6 to 8 weeks.

Benefits of a Skilled Migrant Visa in New Zealand

  • With this visa, you can live, work, and study in New Zealand.
  • Your partner and dependent children under the age of 24 can be included in your residence visa application.
  • With this visa, you can stay in New Zealand indefinitely.

What exactly is an Expression of Interest?

An expression of interest (EOI) is a preliminary application that allows you to supply basic and vital information and demonstrate your desire to move to New Zealand.

If you want to move to New Zealand under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), you must notify Immigration New Zealand (INZ). To do so, complete and submit the (EOI) NZ form.

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Expression of Interest (EOI) Validity

An EOI is valid for six months from the date it is registered. If no EOIs are selected during that time. The EOI is no longer in effect. If your prior EOI expires, you must submit a new one.

Final Words

We examined the most recent changes to the New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa and how they may affect applicants. The new eligibility requirements are stricter than before. With proper planning and preparation, applicants can improve their chances of approval.

Potential candidates should stay up to date on any changes to the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa and, if necessary, seek professional advice.



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