The new 6-points system for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa (SMC) has been recently introduced by the New Zealand government. The updates are intended to make it easier for skilled talent to obtain visas and for those who meet certain requirements to become residents of the country permanently.

The new SMC points based system, which require candidates to fulfil the 6-points criteria will take the place of the current eligibility requirements as of October 2023.

As many of you may understand, this visa is an essential path for people who want to immigrate to New Zealand. These new eligibility requirements will have a significant impact on potential candidates.

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

What is (SMC) Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand?

SMC stands for “Skilled Migrant Category

The Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand is a points based visa category which allows foreigners to live and work permanently in New Zealand. Candidates must fulfill a set of requirements to be eligible for this visa. Having the necessary skills and qualifications, being under the age of 55 as well as being in good moral and physical health are few of them.

skilled migrant visa new zealand - nz points calculator
Beautiful View of Auckland City, New Zealand

New Points Based System for SMC Visa NZ

Previously, 180 points were required for SMC Visa. Now the new points system has been introduced by New Zealand Government. The start date of this new points system is October 9th, 2023. Applicants will need 6 points only to be eligible to apply.

3 main categories for the New Points System for SMC Visa are

  • New Zealand Occupational Registration
  • Qualification
  • Income

You can only get points from one of the main categories listed above. Points from different categories cannot be combined. For example, Points from your qualification cannot be combined with points from your New Zealand occupational registration.

A subcategory, is Work Experience. You can get additional points for your work experience.

Important: Points obtained through Work Experience category can be paired with points obtained through occupational registration, qualification, or income to complete the total required (6) points.

You can calculate your points below with the help of our detailed NZ SMC VISA points calculator.

Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand Points Calculator

Occupational Registration Points

As of this date, 119 total occupations are eligible for Occupational Registration. These occupations are from four different job sectors.

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

See complete list of Occupation HERE

Occupational training is required in any of the eligible occupations to get points in this category.

2 Years of Occupational Training3 Points
4 Years of Occupational Training4 Points
5 Years of Occupational Training5 Points
6 Years of Occupational Training6 Points

Qualification Points

You will be able to get 3 to 6 points based on your level of education. All educational qualification levels will be considered according to New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF). Learn more about NZQF here

Level 7 Bachelor’s degree3 Points
Level 8 Bachelor Honors Degree or Postgraduate Diploma
Level 8 Postgraduate Certificate
4 Points
Level 9 Master’s Degree5 Points
Level 10 Doctoral Degree6 Points

Income Points

You will be able to get points based on your salary from your employment. This category will replace the previous “Highly Paid Residence Visa”, which was announced in 2022, and will instead allows candidates who are offered highly wages to apply for the new Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand.

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 more
6 Points

Work Experience Points

If you intend to use work experience in New Zealand to earn more points, you must meet the wage threshold throughout the term of skilled work experience.

Work ExperiencePoints
1 Year of Work Experience1 Points
2 Year of Work Experience2 Points
3 Year of Work Experience3 Points

Skilled work requirements:

  • Full-time (minimum of 30 hours per week) skilled work experience is required. There is also a pay barrier based on the job’s ANZSCO level.
  • People in ANZSCO level 1 to 3 roles must earn at least the median wage.
  • People in ANZSCO level 4 to 5 roles must earn at least 1.5 times the median wage.

Visit Immigration New Zealand (INZ) HERE for more details

Other Requirements for Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand

  • Age – The candidate must be 55 years old or under.
  • Language Proficiency – Proof of English language proficiency is required
  • Health certificate
  • Character certificate
  • Job Offer from any accredited employer in New Zealand

Job Offer

To apply for Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand, you must have a job offer from an approved employer in New Zealand. Job Offer is required even if you get the maximum number of points in above mentioned categories. The Job offer must meet the following criteria

  • A minimum of 30 hours every week
  • Duration of job offered is at least 12 months
  • Permanent or fixed-term contract
CV Template NZ (New Zealand style CV Sample Format)
international recruitment agencies in New Zealand 2023

Number of Applications Accepted in SMC

The number of people who can get permanent residency under the Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand is unlimited. If your visa application gets approved, you will be eligible to get New Zealand residency as long as you fulfil the visa eligibility standards.

Process Time for SMC NZ

All applications with the complete and correct information will be decided within 6 to 8 weeks.

Benefits of a Skilled Migrant Visa NZ

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

What is Expression of Interest?

An expression of interest (EOI) is an initial application, which allows you to provide the basic and important details and shows your interest to immigrate to New Zealand.

You must inform Immigration New Zealand (INZ) if you wish to immigrate to New Zealand under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC). In order to do so, fill out the (EOI) NZ form and submit.

Validity of an Expression of Interest (EOI)

An EOI is valid for 6 months from the date of registration. If no EOI selection occurs during that time. The EOI is no longer valid. You must submit a new EOI, if your previous EOI expires.

Fruit Picking Jobs in New Zealand with visa sponsorship

Last Words

We looked at the most recent updates to the Skilled Migrant Visa New Zealand and how they may affect applicants. The new eligibility standards are more stringent than before. Applicants can increase their chances of approval with careful planning and preparation.

Potential applicants should remain up to date on any changes to the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa and seek professional assistance if necessary.

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