What is a New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category Visa?

The Skilled Migrant Category Visa in New Zealand is a popular way for people with in-demand skills, qualifications, and experience to move there. It lets skilled workers and their families become residents, allowing them to live and work in New Zealand long-term.

Visa Charges (NZ Immigration)

Starts from NZD 4290.

Length of Stay



55 Years and Under

Benefits of New Zealand Resident Visa

  • Residency Opportunity: The Skilled Migrant Category Visa directly leads to becoming a resident of New Zealand. It’s different from temporary visas because once approved, you become a resident immediately.
  • Rights and Perks: With this visa, you can live, work, and study in New Zealand just like any other resident, without any restrictions.
  • Family Included: You can apply for this visa with your spouse or partner and any dependent children so that the whole family can move to New Zealand together.

Note: The cost and availability of New Zealand visas can change because of decisions made by the New Zealand Immigration authorities.


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What is the Application Process for a New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa?

Here’s the simplified process for getting a Skilled Migrant Visa in New Zealand:

Step 1: Submit Your EOI

Fill out the Expression of Interest (EOI) form on the Immigration New Zealand website, sharing info about your education, work history, and more.

Step 2: Wait for an Invite

If they choose your EOI, you’ll get an invitation to apply for the visa.

Step 3: Gather Documents

Collect all the papers they ask for, like your qualifications, work records, English Proficiency certificates, and health and character certificates.

Step 4: Submit Visa Application

Send in your application with all the documents to Immigration New Zealand.

Step 5: Wait for a Decision

Immigration New Zealand will check your application, and maybe ask for more info or have a chat with you.

Step 6: Visa Approval

You’ll hear back from them. If all’s good, you’ll get a Skilled Migrant Category Visa, which means you can live in New Zealand!

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Skilled Migrant Visa Process at ICL

At ICL Immigration, we know that applying for a Skilled Migrant Category Visa can seem tricky. But don’t worry! Our team of skilled consultants is here to help you every step of the way. Here’s how we can assist you:

Step 1: Initial Consultation

– Have a detailed talk with our immigration experts to see if you qualify for the visa according to New Zealand’s rules.
– We’ll check your qualifications, work experience, and other stuff to figure out if you’re a good fit.

Step 2: Service Agreement

– If you’re good to go, you’ll sign an agreement with us that spells out what we’ll do and what you need to do.
– This makes sure everything’s clear and everyone knows what to expect.

Step 3: Preparing Your Application

– Work with our team to gather and review all the documents you need for your visa application.
– We’ll make sure your paperwork follows all of New Zealand’s rules.

Step 4: Sending Your Application

– We’ll handle sending your visa application to Immigration New Zealand.
– We’ll double-check everything to make sure it’s correct and on time, so there aren’t any delays.

Step 5: Case Officer Assistance

– If Immigration New Zealand assigns someone to look at your application, we’ll be the go-between.
– We’ll talk to them, answer any questions, and give them any extra info they need.

Step 6: Wait for a Decision

– While Immigration New Zealand looks over your application, we’ll keep you posted on what’s happening.
– We’ll be there to help and support you along the way.

Step 7: Visa Approval and Support

– When you get your Skilled Migrant Category Visa approval, we’ll help you with what comes next.
– We’ll guide you through what you need to do after getting your visa, getting ready to move to New Zealand, and settling in there.


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What is the Skilled Migrant Category Visa (SMC Visa)?

The SMC Visa is a New Zealand immigration pathway designed for skilled professionals who wish to become permanent residents in the country.

How does the SMC Visa differ from other New Zealand visas?

Unlike temporary visas, the SMC Visa offers immediate permanent residency, allowing visa holders to live, work, and study in New Zealand indefinitely.

What are the key eligibility requirements for the SMC Visa?

Eligibility is determined by factors such as age, skills, qualifications, work experience, English language proficiency, health, and character.

How do I calculate my points for the SMC Visa?

Points are awarded based on factors like age, work experience, qualifications, job offers, and more. The more points you have, the higher your chances of being selected.

Is there an age limit for the SMC Visa?

Yes, applicants must be under 56 years of age to be eligible for the SMC Visa.

What qualifications are considered for the SMC Visa?

Qualifications from recognized institutions and fields in demand in New Zealand are generally accepted.

What work experience is required for the SMC Visa?

Applicants should have relevant work experience in occupations listed on New Zealand's Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) or Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL).

What level of English proficiency is required for the SMC Visa?

You must meet specific English language requirements, either through recognized English language tests or by having studied and worked in an English-speaking country.

Are health assessments required for the SMC Visa?

Yes, health assessments are mandatory. You must undergo medical examinations to meet New Zealand's health standards.

What character requirements must be met for the SMC Visa?

Applicants must provide police clearance certificates to demonstrate good character.

Can I include my family in my SMC Visa application?

Yes, you can usually include your spouse or partner and dependent children in your application.

How do I submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the SMC Visa?

You can submit an EOI through the Immigration New Zealand website, outlining your qualifications and skills.

What happens if my EOI is selected from the pool?

If your EOI is selected, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for the SMC Visa.

What documents are required for the SMC Visa application?

Necessary documents include proof of qualifications, work experience, English language proficiency, health assessments, and character certificates.

How long does the SMC Visa application process take?

Processing times vary based on individual applications and Immigration New Zealand's workload. It's advisable to consult the latest information for estimates.

Is there an interview process for the SMC Visa?

In some cases, an interview may be required as part of the application process.

Can I work in New Zealand immediately after receiving the SMC Visa?

Yes, the SMC Visa allows you to live and work in New Zealand as a permanent resident.

What support services does ICL Immigration offer for SMC Visa applicants?

ICL Immigration provides comprehensive support, including eligibility assessments, document preparation, application submission, and liaison with Immigration New Zealand.

What happens if my SMC Visa application is declined?

If declined, you will receive a detailed explanation. ICL Immigration can assist in understanding the reasons and exploring alternative immigration options.

Can I trust ICL Immigration to keep me informed about my SMC Visa application status?

Yes, ICL Immigration is committed to keeping you updated on the progress of your application and ensuring a smooth immigration journey to New Zealand.

Navigating the Skilled Migrant Category Visa process in New Zealand can be complex, but with the right guidance and support, you can make your dream of becoming a permanent resident a reality. Stay informed, meet the requirements, and explore your options with confidenc.

Disclaimer: The information provided is subject to change based on New Zealand government policies. For the most current information, please refer to Immigration New Zealand or contact ICL Immigration for updated guidance.

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