Work and live permanently in New Zealand
If you want to live and work in New Zealand permanently, there are a number of options available.
Skilled Migrant Category
The Skilled Migrant Category is for people who have the skills, qualifications and experience we need, and who want to live and work permanently in New Zealand.
Work to Residence
The Work to Residence category allows you to get a temporary work visa and/or permit as a step towards gaining permanent residence. Applicants may be qualified in occupations that are in demand in New Zealand, or may have exceptional talent in sports or the arts.
Residence from Work
The Residence from Work category is for people who are already in New Zealand on a Work to Residence permit, and want to apply for residence.
Employee of a Relocating Company
If you are a key employee of a business that is relocating its operations to New Zealand, you can apply for a work permit and later a residence permit under our Employee of a Relocating Company category.
If you are interested in migrating to New Zealand as a skilled migrant, and if you have the skills New Zealand needs, then you need to apply for. When you submit your application, you may be considered for an invitation to apply for residence in New Zealand only if you meet the following requirements:
- English Language - 6.5 in IELTS overal
- Age - 56 and below
- Find the minimum threshold of 100 points
for employability and building capacity factors criteria for each of these requirements are as per the policy of the government's residence (skilled migrant category).
New Zealand skilled migrant
If you do not have skilled employment in New Zealand or an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand, or if your work experience is not in an area of absolute skills shortage, you can only qualify for points for your work experience if it is in a labour market (following countries job experience) that is comparable to New Zealand.
Comparable labour market
Work experience is assessed as being in a comparable labour market if it was undertaken in one of the
following countries by:
i. a citizen or permanent resident of that country; or
ii. a person who had the lawful authority to work in that country.
- New Zealand
- Republic of South Korea
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States
b. Work experience undertaken in a country not listed at (a) above will be assessed as being in a
comparable labour market only if it was undertaken for a multinational commercial entity (including a wholly or majority owned subsidiary of such an entity that bears the same core name as the parent company) domiciled in one of the countries listed in (a) above.
A recent test from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) can be used as proof that you meet our English language requirements. As principal applicant, you need to have an overall band score of 6.5 or over in the IELTS General or Academic Module.
You may qualify for points for employability and capacity-building factors. The points system is designed for ranking Expressions of Interest so that we can extend Invitations to Apply for residence to those who have the most to offer New Zealand. The greater the number of points you qualify for, the greater your chance of gaining an Invitation to Apply for residence. You need to qualify for at least 100 points to have a chance of entering the Expressions of Interest Pool.
a. Calculation of levels of work experience must be for complete weeks based on a 30-hour week.
b. Credit is given for 30-hour weeks only, even though a principal applicant* has worked more than 30 hours in any week.
Example: Fifty-two 60-hour weeks are equal to one year’s work experience.
c. Credit for part-time work experience may be given on a proportional basis.
Example: Four years’ work experience for 15 hours per week is equal to 2 years’ work experience
for a 30-hour week, and therefore qualifies for 10 points.
Work to residence (WR)
Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category who do not meet the requirements to be granted residence, but who are assessed as having potential to settle successfully in New Zealand, can be issued a permit to work in New Zealand for up to nine months. The purpose of the work permit is to enable applicants to establish themselves in ongoing skilled employment in New Zealand. Work visas and/or permits issued and/or granted under this policy will allow work for any employer in New Zealand. At the end of the nine-month period, if you have become established in full-time employment, residence can be granted.