Since the implementation of new changes regarding the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), many applicants are finding it difficult to qualify. According to Immigration New Zealand, migrants would now need 160 points or more for an Expression of Interest (EOI). Applicants with lower points may still submit EIOs, but there is a good chance that they will not be selected.

This, however, does not mean that interested individuals should be deterred from applying for a work visa in New Zealand to get residency in the future. Should you find yourself unable to meet requirements for SMC, you can apply for the Residence from Work Category.

Residence from Work

To be eligible for this category, you must first satisfy two conditions: a.) prove that you have been in New Zealand on a Work to Residence visa for two years and b.) show that you meet health and character requirements. From here, you can proceed with the next steps, depending on which pathway will suit your needs or qualifications more.

Through Accredited Employers

Accredited employers have been pre-approved to hire skilled or talented workers from overseas. You may check Immigration New Zealand’s accredited employer list to determine the status of an organisation.

If you have a temporary work visa that allows you to work for an accredited employer, you can upgrade to a residence class visa. Under the Residence from Work Category, you must fulfil certain requirements. Firstly, you must have been working with an accredited employer for at least two years. During that period, you must have been employed full time by an accredited employer. Lastly, you must be currently employed and have a base salary of at least NZ$55,000 per year. If applicable, you must also have full or provisional registration to practise in your profession.

Long Term Skill Shortage List

If you get an offer for a job that’s on the Long Term Skill Shortage List, you are already at an advantage for getting a work or residence visa. Typically, a migrant will be granted temporary work visa, which can be upgraded to work to residence visa. To be eligible you must have held a Long Term Skill Shortage List visa for at least two years and employed full time within that duration. You must also be aged 55 or below, with a base salary of at least NZ$45,000 on an annual basis. As with the Residence from Work Category under accredited employers, you must also have full or provisional registration as per your occupation, if needed.

There are other ways to obtain residency in NZ. For instance, you may qualify for an essential skills work visa if this option does not work for you. Talk to a licensed immigration adviser from companies like Auckland South Immigration Consultants Limited to learn more. Email for assistance.


Residence from Work Category, New Zealand Now

Work visas, New Zealand Now