There are a number of ways to get New Zealand Residence Visas, depending on whether it is based on your skills and job offer, your current visa or your relationship to a New Zealand resident or citizen.
There are 3 skills-based residence pathways that require you to have a job offer in order to apply:
Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa
The Skilled Migrant Category is based on a points system where you must claim 6 points to be eligible.
You will need to have a skilled job offer, or current employment in a skilled role, with an Accredited Employer, that is at least 30 hours per week and on a permanent or fixed term contract for at least 12 months.
And you must be paid at least:
You also need to meet health, character, English Language requirements, and be 55 years old or younger to apply.
When calculating your 6 points, you must claim from one of the below skill indicators:
You can only claim from one of these skill indicators and can choose whichever gives you the most points (between 3 & 6 points per skill indicator).
Claiming points for occupational registration
Your occupation must be on the list of eligible roles requiring occupational registration.
Points will be awarded as follows:
Claiming points for a qualification
You may be able to claim points for your qualification if it is recognised as the equivalent of a Leve 7 Bachelor degree or above. Qualifications from outside New Zealand will need to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as equivalent to a New Zealand qualification, in order to claim points. Some qualifications have already been pre-assessed by Immigration New Zealand, and so don’t require further assessment.
Points will be awarded as follows:
You can claim points, even if your degree is not relevant for the role you have been offered.
If you have a non-degree qualification at NZQF Level 7 or below, you will not be able to claim points under the new points system.
Claiming points for income
The following points can be claimed for higher income levels:
Skilled work experience in New Zealand
You can claim 1 point per year of work in a New Zealand skilled job, up to a maximum of 3 points.
You can combine your Skill indicator points with your points from Skilled work experience in New Zealand, to make up the total of 6 points that is required.
However, if you are claiming points for New Zealand work experience PLUS points for income, you will need to provide evidence that you held that income throughout the entire work experience you are claiming points for.
Similarly, if you are claiming points for work experience PLUS points for occupational registration, you must have held that occupational registration throughout your work experience.
You can include your partner and dependent children in your Skilled Migrant Visa application. When your visa is approved, you will all be granted residence under the Skilled Migrant Category, enabling your partner and dependent children to work and study in New Zealand too
Green List Skilled Residence Pathways
There are two Skilled Resident Pathways for migrants with a job offer in an occupation that is on the Green List.
For both pathways, applicants must be 55 years old or younger, meet English language requirements, meet health and character requirements for residence, have or have been offered a full-time job (at least 30 hours per week) with an accredited employer in an occupation on the Green List and meet the requirements of the Green List job.
If you secure a job with an Accredited Employer in a Tier 1 Green List occupation, you may be eligible for the Straight to Residence Visa.
If you secure a job with an Accredited Employer in a Tier 2 Green List occupation, you may be eligible to apply for residence after working in New Zealand in this role for 2 years (the Work to Residence Visa). Your experience may be counted from 29th September 2021.
Sector Agreement Residence Pathway
Applicants must be 55 years old or younger, meet English language requirements, meet health and character requirements for residence, and have a full-time job (at least 30 hours per week) with an accredited employer that meets the requirements of the Sector Agreement.
Care Workforce Work to Residence requirements
In order to be eligible for a Care Workforce Work to Residence visa you need to:
Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa
If you have been living together with your New Zealand citizen or resident partner for 12 months or longer, you may be eligible to apply for a resident visa as the partner of a New Zealander. You must be able to prove that you are living together in a genuine and stable relationship, that you are coming to New Zealand to be with your partner and that you meet health and character requirements.
Partner of a New Zealander Permanent Resident Visa
If you have been living together with your New Zealand partner for at least 5 years outside of New Zealand and they are a citizen (rather than a resident) you may be eligible for a Permanent Resident Visa. This is a great opportunity, if you meet the eligibility criteria, as you usually need to spend at least 2 years’ on a Resident Visa before applying for permanent residence.