Skilled Migrant Category:
The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) offers you the opportunity to move to New Zealand to work and live permanently.
Who can apply?
To be eligible for residence under SMC you must:
- Be 55 or under
- Be healthy
- Be of good character
- Speak English
To decide if you can apply we use a points system. You get points for age, experience, employability and qualifications.
Gives you an idea of how many points you could claim when you apply.
Can I apply
Gives you the basic requirements you have to meet, and more about the point system.
How to apply
How you lodge your Expression of Interest, and what you’ll need to provide later with your application.
After you’re approved
Some things you need to know about when your application has been accepted.
Points and bonus points
All of the available points are listed below. 100 points will get your EOI into the ‘Pool’, but the more points you have, the more likely you are to be selected.
- 30 points: 20-29 years
- 25 points: 30-39 years
- 20 points: 40-44 years
- 10 points: 45-49 years
- 5 points: 50-55 years
- 10 points for close family in New Zealand.
- 50 points: job offer
- 50 points: working in a skilled job in New Zealand for less than 12 months.
- 60 points: working in a skilled job in New Zealand for more than 12 months.
- 10 points: work in an identified future growth area
- 10 points: work in an area of absolute skills shortage
- 10 points: work in a region outside Auckland
- 20 points if partner has a skilled job or job offer
Work experience in skilled employment
- 10 points: 2 years
- 15 points: 4 years
- 20 points: 6 years
- 25 points: 8 years
- 30 points: 10 years
Bonus points for work experience in New Zealand:
- 5 point: 1 year
- 10 points: 2 years
- 15 points: 3 or more years
And if the work experience is in an identified future growth area:
- 10 points: 2 to 5 years experience
- 15 points: 6 or more years experience.
And if the work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage.
- 10 points: 2 to 5 years
- 15 points: 6 or more years.
- 40 points: recognized level 4-6 qualification (e.g. trade qualification, diploma).
- 50 points: recognized level 7 or 8 qualification (e.g. bachelor degree, bachelor degree with honors).
- 60 points: recognized level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualification (masters degree, doctorate).
Bonus points for qualifications:
- 10 points: 2 years full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognized bachelor degree New Zealand qualification.
- 10 points: 1 year of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognized post-graduate New Zealand qualification.
- 15 points: 2 years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognized post-graduate New Zealand qualification.
- 10 points: qualification in an identified future growth area.
- 10 points: qualification in an area of absolute skills shortage.
- 10 points if your partner holds a level 4-6 qualification.
- 20 points: if your partner holds a level 7+ qualification.
Investing and doing business in New Zealand:
New Zealand’s business migration categories are designed to contribute to economic growth, attracting ‘smart’ capital and business expertise to New Zealand, and enabling experienced business people to buy or establish businesses in New Zealand.
People wishing to invest funds in a business and live in New Zealand can apply for residence under our Investor/Investor Plus categories, or apply for a visitor visa valid for up to two years under our Temporary Retirement Category.
The visa for people who wish to run their own business in New Zealand is the Entrepreneur Work Visa. People who are granted an Entrepreneur Work Visa will also be able to apply for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa once they have run their businesses for 2 years (or 6 months if they meet extra conditions). People already on a Long Term Business Visa (LTBV) can also apply for residence under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.
Employees of a relocating business
If you are a key employee in a business that is relocating to New Zealand, you may be eligible to apply for residence under the Employees of Relocating Business Category. This category facilitates the granting of residence to employees of businesses relocating to New Zealand, who do not qualify for residence under any existing categories.
Migrant Investment categories
Our Migrant Investment categories are for investors who want to gain residence in New Zealand.
There are two categories: Investor Plus (Investor 1 Category), and Investor (Investor 2 Category). Compare the basic criteria below
Entrepreneur Work Visa Category:
If you are an experienced business person and you want to be self-employed in your own business in New Zealand, applying for a work visa under the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category may be an option for you. An Entrepreneur Work Visa will enable you to move to New Zealand and buy or establish your own business. It could be the first step on your pathway to applying for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Residence Category
How does this visa work?:
An Entrepreneur Work Visa is a three year work visa in two stages: a Start-up stage and a Balance stage.
If your Entrepreneur Work Visa is approved, you will initially be given a 12-month work visa, enabling you to buy or establish your business in New Zealand.
This is for the remaining 24 months of your visa. You can be granted the Balance of your Entrepreneur Work Visa once you have shown the Business Migration Branch that you have taken steps to establish your business.
- Transferring your investment capital to New Zealand through the banking system
- Actions taken to establish your business, as shown by:
- documents showing setting up the business (e.g. certificate of incorporation
- property purchase or lease documents for the business' site
- invoices for business equipment and supplies
- other documents such as employment agreements, bank statements, utility company invoices
- Actions that show you have started operating your business, such as:
- documents evidencing the constitution of the business (e.g. certificate of incorporation)
- property purchase or lease documents relating to the business' site
- invoices for business equipment and supplies
What are the main requirements?
In order to be approved for an Entrepreneur Work Visa, you must:
- make a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 (excluding working capital), unless this requirement is waived
- meet or exceed 120 points on ascale which awards points for factors relating to the likely success of the proposed business and its value to New Zealand (NB: See our interactive points calculator [XLS 784KB]).
- have a business plan specific to your proposed business.
- not been involved in bankruptcy or business failure within the 5 years preceding the date your application is made.
- not have been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety, and
- meet ourhealth and character requirements for residence and English language requirements
Relocating to New Zealand with your employer:
If you are a key employee of a business that wants to relocate its operations to New Zealand, you may be eligible to apply for residence under our Employees of Relocating Businesses Category.
Your application for residence must first meet requirements for approval in principle, and you will be invited to apply for a temporary work visa that allows you to come to New Zealand to make the relocation arrangements.
Then, when you can show us your business has relocated and meets our trading requirements, residence can be granted, subject to conditions. These conditions are that you work for the relocated business for two years, and the business meets all relevant employment and immigration laws in that two years.
Your application can include your partner and any dependent children travelling with you. If your application is successful they will need to apply for either a visitor or student visa.
A family member who is already a New Zealand citizen or resident can sponsor you to come to New Zealand if you are their:
you are the husband, wife, defacto or civil union partner of a New Zealand citizen or resident.
you are a dependent child with a parent who is a New Zealand citizen or resident.
you have a child who is a New Zealand citizen or resident.
See the Parent Retirement Category if you have a child who is a New Zealand citizen or resident and you are able to invest NZ$1 million in New Zealand for four years.
Family temporary entry
If you intend to stay temporarily with your family member who is a New Zealand citizen or resident, the kind of visa you need depends on what you want to do when you’re here.
We have categories for partners of New Zealand residents and/or citizens; culturally-arranged marriage; dependent children of New Zealand residents and or citizens; parent and grandparent multiple entry visitor visa; or general visitors.