Skilled Workers Selected as Immigrants in NZ, April 15, 2015


New Zealand's Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) offers qualified applicants and eiigible famly members  the opportunity to move to New Zealand to work and live permanently.  The New Zealand Immigration Service provides this overview for the benefit of the public and is being reproduced at no cost to the public as part of our advocacy.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for residence under SMC you must:

  1. be 55 or under
  2. be healthy
  3. be of good character
  4. speak English.

You get points for age, experience, employability and qualifications.

How to apply

There are two steps:


  1. You complete an Expression of Interest, telling us about yourself, your family, your skills and your experience.
  2. If you have enough points, we accept your Expression of Interest, and send you an Invitation to Apply. You complete it, and return it to us with your supporting documents.

How do you apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category?

The Skilled Migrant Category application process has two stages:

  1. The expression of interest (EOI) stage, and
  2. The application stage.

First you need to submit an EOI. Your EOI will be assessed and you may be sent an invitation to apply for residence. You can then lodge an application. More details of the EOI and application stages are below.

How do I submit an EOI?

You complete the EOI form, either online or on the paper-based Expression of Interest form (INZ 1100) PDF [674KB]. On the EOI form you tell us about yourself, your family, your skills and your work experience. As you complete your EOI, you claim points. However, you do not have to provide evidence at this point.

How much does it cost to submit an EOI?

Submitting an online EOI costs a fee of NZ$510.00. Submitting a paper-based EOI costs a fee of NZ$650. Online EOIs cost less because they require less processing than paper-based EOIs.

What happens after I submit an EOI?

If your EOI has a score of 100 points or more, it goes in the pool of EOIs. Every two weeks we automatically select EOIs with a points score of 140 or over from the pool. Then we select EOIs with a points score between 100 and 139 which include points for a skilled job or job offer. If we still have spaces available, we use additional criteria to select lower-scoring EOIs.

EOIs are only valid for six months. If your EOI is not selected within six months, it will lapse and be withdrawn from the pool. Your EOI fee will not be refunded. 

What happens if my EOI is selected from the pool? 

If your EOI is selected from the pool, we check that the information you have declared in your EOI appears to meet the requirements for residence. If it does, we send you an ‘Invitation to Apply’ for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and an application form that includes all of the information you told us about yourself. 

How do I apply for residence?

After you receive an invitation to apply, you need to check the information you provided in your EOI is still up to date and correct. You also need to provide:

You then need to send all documents and evidence, with your application form and a fee, back to us. You must make your application within four months of being invited to apply for residence. Any applications received after four months will not be accepted.

How much does it cost to apply?

You need to pay a fee with your application. See the office and fees finder for the amount required.

What happens after I apply?

We will process your application. There are three possible outcomes:

How do you start your EOI?

If you lodge your EOI online it costs you less and is a faster process. You do not have to complete it all at once – you can save it and come back to it. It will take about two hours to complete. Start by registering for our online services or logging on if you have already registered.

If you want to lodge a paper-based EOI, you need to use the Expression of Interest form (INZ 1100) PDF [674KB]

Where to now?

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.


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