The information you need to know about making a visa application for New Zealand. From explanations of common immigration concepts to explanations of the application process.
Immigration to New Zealand is an adventure countless families from around the world undertake each year in search of a better life.
It’s no simple task though, this immigration business. Many hopeful immigrants don’t even know where to start!
The process isn’t made any simpler by the foreign terms and phrases found in immigration material.
That’s why we compiled this New Zealand immigration glossary, to help you understand various terminologies associated with emigrating to Australia’s neighbour.
Absolute skills shortage
Skilled occupations that New Zealand hasn’t had enough people to do for a long time. These occupations are listed on the Long Term Skills Shortage List.
An ‘acceptable’ investment is one that:
- is able to make a commercial return
- is not for your own personal use (such as a boat or personal residence)
- is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency
- is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in force in New Zealand
- has the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy
- is invested in any of the following:
- bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities
- bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX)
- bonds issued by New Zealand organisations with a BBB- rating or better (or equivalent) from an internationally recognised credit rating agency, eg Standard and Poor’s
- equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds)
- bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks
- equities in New Zealand registered banks, as defined by the New Zealand Reserve Bank Act 1989
- venture capital funds that are managed by a fund manager or broker and meet all the criteria for an acceptable investment
- residential property development
- bonds in finance companies
An acceptable qualification for a post-study work visa:
- Is a New Zealand qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
- Involves 60 weeks of study at Levels 4 to 6, or 30 weeks or more of study at Level 7 and above.
This is a New Zealand employer, who has accreditation to employ people under the New Zealand Work Policy, approved by the NZIS.
This refers to a child who is 17 years of age or older.
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. It is published on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website and it is the system Immigration New Zealand use for skilled migration to check:
- The skill levels of occupations
- The qualifications and/or experience needed to work in occupations
Biometrics is a means of identifying and authenticating a person through features of that person’s body. The most common examples of this are:
- Face structure (photos).
A photocopy stamped or signed by a person as a true copy of the original. The certifier must be authorized by law to take statutory declarations in your home country or in New Zealand. Examples of such persons are lawyers, Justice of the Peace, and court officials.
Civil unions may be between partners of the same or opposite sex. A civil union has the same property and civil rights as a marriage.
You or your partner’s adult brothers or sisters, adult children or parents are considered close family members.
De facto partner
A person who is living in a genuine and stable relationship with their partner, for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
EOI – Expression of Interest
When you are looking to immigrate to New Zealand, everything is dependent on your points score. This is obtained by an assessment in order to determine your eligibility.
The Expression of Interest (EOI) is the initial application stage for New Zealand immigration. Applicants under the skilled migration category will need to complete an Expression of Interest.
If you meet the criteria for the points score, you’ll be able to submit an Expression of Interest.
Essential Skills in Demand Lists
The Essential Skills in Demand Lists details the occupations in New Zealand in need of qualified and experienced talent. There are three lists:
- Long Term Skills Shortage List
- Immediate Skills Shortage List
- Construction and Infrastructure Skills Shortage List
Full birth certificate
A full birth certificate includes your full name, you date and place of birth, and your parents’ full names.
A job where you work at least 30 hours a week.
Full-time study is where you either:
- attend a course at a private training establishment for at least 20 hours a week; or
- enroll for at least three papers, or equivalent, each semester at a University or Polytechnic, or a level 7 or higher qualification at a private training establishment.
Genuine and stable partnership
A relationship that has been entered into on a long term and exclusive basis, and that is likely to last.
To be eligible for immigration to New Zealand, you must be in good health which means you must meet certain health requirements as determined by Immigration New Zealand. You’ll be considered in good health if you’re:
- Unlikely to be a danger to the health of the people already in New Zealand
- Unlikely to be a financial burden on the New Zealand health or special education services
- Able to work or study if this is the reason for your visa
The International English Language Testing System. You may be required to do this English language test to demonstrate that you can speak, read, write and listen in English.
Immigration Advisers Authority
People who give New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed with The Immigration Advisers Authority unless they are exempt. This is a requirement by law.
This is the acronym for Immigration New Zealand. INZ is part of the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and is responsible for border control, issuing travel visas and managing immigration to New Zealand.
Invitation to Apply
This simply refers to a stage of the skilled migration visa application process. If you meet certain criteria, you will receive an Invitation to Apply for a visa.
Labour market test
The labour market test is a test to establish whether:
- an employer has made a genuine attempt to attract and recruit suitable New Zealanders for a job; and
- if there are any suitable New Zealanders to do a job, or who can be trained to do a job.
When INZ carries out a labour market test, they’ll look at things like:
- The employer’s reasons for not employing a New Zealander to do a job
- Evidence of the employer’s recruitment attempts, like newspaper and internet advertising
- Advice from Work and Income
- Advice from industry groups, like unions
Licensed immigration adviser
Licensed immigration advisers for New Zealand have specialised expertise. They have met competency standards and they follow a professional code of conduct.
Advisers are able to help you in the following ways:
- Explore your visa options
- Prepare your visa application
- Settle into New Zealand
- Determine if you can appeal a declined visa
- Determine your options if you are in New Zealand unlawfully
Funds that are invested in one of the following:
- A managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution
- Equities that are managed by a fund manager or broker
For INZ to accept managed funds as an investment, managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand companies. Managed funds with international exposure are acceptable only for the part of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.
This is a document you get from a medical practitioner after you have completed a medical examination. The certificate tells INZ the results of that examination which INZ then use to determine whether you have an acceptable standard of health for immigration to New Zealand.
The majority of visa options will require you to be assessed against a point’s criterion in order to determine if you qualify or not.
The minimum threshold is the lowest number of points you need to score for your Expression of Interest to enter the Expression of Interest pool. This threshold is currently set at 100 points.
New Zealand qualifications
Under the Skilled Migrant Category, you can qualify for bonus points for a recognised qualification that you have studied for and gained through a New Zealand institution such as a university or polytechnic. You can also qualify for bonus points for two years of full-time study in New Zealand towards a recognised qualification.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is a government agency responsible for:
- Setting the standards for New Zealand qualifications and recognising overseas qualifications
- Administering the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and assessing overseas qualifications against it
Non-principal applicants are anyone included in a visa application that is not the principal applicant. For example, the applicant’s partner or dependent children.
Registration with a New Zealand registration authority that allows you to work in a particular occupation in New Zealand.
Offer of employment
An offer of employment is a genuine and sustainable opportunity. The physical offer must include the following:
- Name, address, telephone and/or fax number of the employer
- Name and address of the person to whom the job offer is extended
- A full job description including details such as the job title, the type of work, duties and responsibilities involved, and details pay and conditions of employment. Please note this is not the full set of criteria for the job description
A person you are legally married to, or in a civil union or de facto relationship with, and who you live with in a genuine and stable partnership. Partners can be of the same or opposite sex.
This is the primary person who will be assessed against the criteria for a resident visa.
A certificate, degree or diploma that is officially sanctioned based on:
- an assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that relates to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF); and
- its level on the NZQF as set out in the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’; and
- its level on the NZQF based on the applicant’s job registration in New Zealand (if that registration involves an assessment equal to a qualification on the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’)
This refers to a person who holds a current New Zealand residence permit or alternatively a New Zealand returning resident’s visa.
Employment that you need specialist, technical or management expertise and relevant qualifications and/or work experience to do, and which meets a minimum pay threshold.
New Zealand requires a certain amount of skilled workers that it needs to attract from overseas. Individuals will need to meet a certain set of criteria in terms of their profession, experience, skills and qualifications. If these criteria are met, the applicant is classified as a skilled migrant.
Skilled work experience
Work experience that you can claim points for by showing you were suitably qualified before you started that work. You can read more about skilled work experience on INZ’s website.
A guarantee from a person, organisation or government agency to look after you while you visit, study, work or settle in New Zealand. If your stay is temporary, your sponsor must also guarantee the cost of your return home.
Sufficient funds for students
Full fee paying students must provide evidence they have enough money to live on while they are in New Zealand.
Evidence can include:
- Bank statements showing funds held by or on behalf of the student that showing the equivalent of NZ $15,000 for a full year of study, or NZ $1,250 per month in New Zealand
- A ‘Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry’ completed by an acceptable sponsor
- A completed ‘Financial Undertaking for a Student’ form.
Funds held by or on behalf of the student must be from a genuine source (such as the salary of the student’s parents) and be available to the student throughout their stay in New Zealand.
If you wish to study in New Zealand as a foreign student, you will need to obtain a student visa for New Zealand.
Your New Zealand visa shows that you’re able to travel to, enter and stay in New Zealand temporarily or indefinitely.
Visa waiver country
If you are coming from a visa waiver country to New Zealand, you will not need to obtain a visitor’s visa before you travel.
An activity you perform for which you are remunerated either in salary or wagers, or another benefit like accommodation, food or transport. There are certain activities which are not considered as ‘work’ – please consult with our advisers if you’d like to find out what these activities are.
Work to Residence
You may have outstanding talent in a certain area, such as sports, art or culture. You could then apply to work in New Zealand under the Work to Residence programme.
This will help you gain access to being able to work on a temporary basis in New Zealand. The work visa obtained in this regard can be used as a tool to gain permanent residency.
To date, New Zealand has only had 2 763 cases of COVID. This is of course due to the country closing its borders early in the pandemic and maintaining strict border restrictions.
Unfortunately, the restrictions also means that it’s impossible for most people from overseas to enter New Zealand.
It is for this reason that Immigration New Zealand now has decided to refund levies and fees for visa applications that cannot be processed and approved.
Eligibility criteria to have your visa application lapsed or returned, and refunded
Immigration New Zealand will mainly refund visitor, students and work visa applications. The following criteria will also apply:
- You applied for a temporary visas from outside New Zealand before 10 August 2020
- Your visa application will lapse and you’ll get a refund.
- You applied for a temporary visa from outside New Zealand after 10 August 2020 when INZ suspended offshore applications
- Immigration New Zealand will return your visa application and you’ll get a refund.
You do not need to do anything if you’re eligible for a refund. You or your representative will get an email from Immigration New Zealand when INZ is processing your refund.
These visa applications and categories do not qualify for lapsing and refunding
INZ will not lapse and refund the following applications:
- Applications made from a COVID-19 quarantine free travel zone where you have notified INZ in writing before 30 June 2021 that you are still in a COVID-19 quarantine free travel zone, and want INZ to process your application
- Applications based on a relationship – partner or dependent children – to a New Zealand citizen, resident class visa holder or temporary visa holder
- Work visa applications under any of the following categories:
- Post-study work
- Work to Residence
- Entrepreneur Work Visa category
- Global Impact Visa categories
- An application for a work visa to arrange the transfer to and investment of funds in New Zealand after your application for residence under the Investor 1 or Investor 2 category has been approved in principle
- Applications based on a relationship – partner or dependent children – to a principal application with a temporary visa application that is listed above
You can decide how to proceed with your application if you’re in New Zealand with an automatically extended temporary visa
Immigration New Zealand is also going to give applicants whose temporary visas were automatically extended by special direction the choice to withdraw or proceed with their visa applications.
If you fall within this group instead and you choose to withdraw your application, you’ll only get a refund for the application fee. You won’t get a refund for the levies on your application.
As with refunds for overseas applicants, INZ will contact all eligible onshore applicants – it is not necessary to contact INZ yourself.
This is how the refund process will work
According to Immigration New Zealand, there are up to 50,000 eligible visa applications in the system!
INZ is going to process all of these refunds in batches, and contact eligible visa applicants, or their representative, via email over the next few months.
- If you submitted and paid for your application online:
- INZ will refund you credit card
- Where a third party such a licensed immigration advisor made payment on your behalf:
- It is your and your representative’s responsibility to arrange reimbursement of the refund. Immigration New Zealand is not able to mediate between you and your representative.
- For payments made more than 12 months ago:
- INZ will contact you to complete a refund form and provide a bank account number for the refund
- For applications submitted through other channels:
- INZ will contact you to obtain payment details
Please note that Immigration New Zealand may ask you to complete a refund request form in some cases.
Please be patient!
Processing these refunds is going to be a monstrous task for INZ! We urge you to be patient if you qualify for a refund.
In the meantime, contact us to if you’d like to see if you qualify for a visa that has a border exception. Our team can also help with immigration to Australia, so ask us about your options if you’d like to explore your options.
There are many parts to a Skilled Migrant visa application. One of these parts is the New Zealand Expression of Interest. Continue reading to find out what it is and where it fits into the process.
1. What is the Expression of Interest?
The Expression of Interest is an initial application to Immigration New Zealand (INZ), indicating your interest in applying for a Skilled Migrant visa.
2. How do I qualify to submit an Expression of Interest to INZ?
As someone who wants to immigrate to New Zealand as a skilled migrant, everything hinges on your points score. You must score at least 100 points in an immigration eligibility assessment to submit an Expression of Interest.
3. Where does the EOI fit into the Skilled Migrant application process?
The EOI is the third step in your Skilled Migrant visa application:
The first step is making sure that you meet the basic requirements:
- You’re 55 or younger.
- You’re of good health.
- You meet New Zealand’s character requirements.
- You meet the English language standards for the Skilled Migrant visa.
The second step is doing your points-based immigration eligibility assessment. If you score 100 points or more, you’ll move ahead with the application process.
You submit your Expression of Interest.
You get an Invitation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa if your EOI is selected by INZ.
4. Does submitting an Expression of Interest mean I’ll get a visa?
Unfortunately, being able to submit an Expression of Interest does not guarantee that you’ll get a visa.
Let us explain:
Your EOI will go into an Expression of Interest Pool, along with the EOIs of everyone else who want to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
From this pool, Immigration New Zealand selects the EOIs it feels are from the best candidates for immigration to New Zealand. In our experience, that means EOIs with 160 points and a job offer.
5. How long does my EOI stay in the pool?
Expressions of Interest are valid for 6 months. If you haven’t been selected from the pool of applicants in this time, you’ll have to submit your EOI again.
6. Can I increase my points score?
INZ awards points for age, qualifications and experience. There’s not much you can do to change any of these to get more points.
However, a job offer does increase your points score and it earns you enough points to make a significant difference to your Expression of Interest.
Our advice is thus to secure a job offer to give your EOI a greater chance of selection.
7. Should I wait to submit my Expression of Interest until I have a job offer?
That would entirely depend on you but remember that your Expression of Interest is only valid for 6 months:
- Are you confident that you’ll secure a job offer in 6 months? Then you can go ahead and submit your Expression of Interest. INZ allows you to amend your EOI once it’s been submitted.
- Don’t want the pressure of having to find a job in 6 months and having to submit and pay for an EOI more than once? Then you might want to wait with your EOI until you have a job offer.
8. What if I can’t secure a job offer and 160 points?
You could still submit or leave your Expression of Interest in the pool but you should also consider other visa options if you’re determined to work in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Expression of Interest in summary
- The Expression of Interest is the third step in the Skilled Migrant Visa application process.
- To submit an EOI to INZ for consideration, you’ll have to score 100 points in an immigration eligibility assessment.
- Your Expression of Interest will stay in the EOI pool for 6 months.
- INZ usually selects Expressions of Interest with 160 points and a job offer from the EOI pool.
- If you can’t secure a job offer and 160 points, you might have to consider applying for another type of visa.
- However, if you’re successful and INZ selects your EOI from the pool, you’ll get an Invitation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
Do you have more questions?
Please feel free to contact us should you have any other questions about the Expression of Interest. Our immigration agents are licensed to give advice and happy to help!
Immigration New Zealand has made plenty of changes in September to accommodate certain groups of people despite the country’s ongoing border restrictions.
The latest change is the decision to start processing and deciding offshore applications for some relationship-based visas and accepting visa applications under selected visa categories.
Relationship-based visas supported by a New Zealander
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) are once again processing some relationship-based visas to reunite families and couples that have separated by the border restrictions. However, a New Zealand citizen or resident has to support the visa.
These visas include the following:
- Visitor visas for partners
- Visitor visas for dependent children
- Visitor visas for children entering New Zealand for adoption
- Visitor visas for children adopted overseas before their New Zealand citizenship is confirmed
- Visitor visas under the culturally arranged marriage category
- Work visas for partners
- Resident visas for partners
- Student visas for dependent children
Successful applicants will be exempt from New Zealand border restrictions. There is no need to seek approval from INZ prior to travelling to New Zealand to enter the country.
What happens if your application is unsuccessful?
If Immigration New Zealand determines that your application does not meet the necessary requirements, a general visitor visa may be appropriate.
Should Immigration New Zealand grant you a general visitor visa instead, INZ will place your application on hold until border restrictions allow them to process general visitor visas.
You’ll have 6 months to enter New Zealand
Travel is still severely restricted the world over. Due to this, successful applicants will get a 6-month ‘First Entry Before’ date to allow for more time to secure flights and managed isolation or quarantine in New Zealand.
Application older than 3 months may need updated information
If your visa application is more than three months old when it’s assessed, Immigration New Zealand may need to ask for updated information. For instance, a new chest x-ray certificate.
Immigration New Zealand will notify you or your immigration advisor if updated information is needed.
Offshore applications accepted under selected visa categories
You can now apply for a visa under the following categories if you’re doing so from offshore:
- Refugee Family Support (Tiers 1 and 2)
- Migrant Investor (Investor 1 and 2), including Expressions of Interest for Investor 2
- Parent Retirement
While Immigration New Zealand is going to accept applications for these visas, border restrictions means that INZ cannot grant the visas at the moment. However, INZ has said that they’ll process applications as far as is possible without granting approval.
With that said, your visa application is not guaranteed approval. Immigration New Zealand could still reject your application if you don’t meet the requirements.
Why did Immigration New Zealand decide to accept Entrepreneur and Investor visas?
The answer from Immigration New Zealand is that the Entrepreneur and Investor visa categories attracts around NZ$1 billion in investments each year in addition to valuable business networks.
INZ thus expects that processing these visa categories will support the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and wider government post-COVID-19 recovery plan.
How long will it take to process these applications?
Unfortunately, Immigration New Zealand are not able to prioritise any of the visa applications discussed here. INZ has said that their staff will process applications in the order by which the applications were received.
You can have a look at standard processing times on Immigration New Zealand’s website.
Do you need assistance with your visa application? We can help!
While you don’t have to use an advisor to assist you with your visa application, it is advisable to do so. Especially now when things are changing often!
Our advisors are experienced and all three advisors are also IAA licensed. This means our advisors are authorized to give advice and are held accountable for the advice they give our clients. Please do not hesitate to contact us!
It’s almost guaranteed that you’ve come across the phrase ‘New Zealand skills shortage list’ in your emigration research.
But what is it? And what role does it play in your emigration? These are the types of questions we’d like to answer for you today.
What is the New Zealand skill shortage list?
The first thing you should know is that there are three skill shortage lists, not just one:
- Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL)
- Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL)
- Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL)
Collectively, these lists are called the Essential Skills in Demand Lists (ESID). Individually, each list is a record of occupations experiencing a shortage of skilled workers in New Zealand.
What role does the skill shortage lists play in my emigration?
We’ll let Immigration New Zealand explain: “If you’re offered a job that’s on one of the lists, and you’ve got the qualifications and experience to match, getting a work or residence visa may be easier.”
How do the lists work?
If your occupation is on a shortage list, the position you’re offered won’t have to be subjected to an individual labour market test.
This means the New Zealand employer doesn’t have to demonstrate that the company couldn’t find suitable New Zealanders to fill the position or to train for the position.
Thus, if the position you’re offered is on a skill shortage lists it means suitable New Zealanders are hard to find and a visa can be granted to a qualified worker from overseas.
This makes the application process easier for both you and your prospective employer.
The three skills shortage lists
As explained, there are three skills shortage lists. Each list offers the opportunity to qualify for a certain visa or visas.
1. Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL)
The Long Term Skills Shortage List identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand.
In other words, your occupation is in demand not just now but also for the foreseeable future.
What visas can you apply for?
If you’re offered a position in an occupation that’s on the LTSSL and you meet the requirements associated with the occupation, you’ll be eligible to apply for either an Essential Skills Work Visa or for a Long Term Skills Shortage List work visa:
- Essential Skills Work Visa: The Essential Skills Work Visa is a temporary work visa. In certain cases, going on to apply for permanent residency is possible. It would be best to discuss your eligibility with your immigration advisor at the time of making your temporary visa application.
- LTSSL Work Visa: If you obtain a LTSSL Work Visa, you’ll be eligible to apply for residence after two years of working. This is provided that you can also meet these important requirements:
- You have ongoing employment
- You annual salary is at least NZ$45,000
2. Regional Skilled Shortage List (RSSL)
The Regional Skilled Shortage List (RSSL) identifies 15 regions with occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers. This gives migrants a better idea about opportunities in regional areas.
What visas can you apply for?
If your occupation, qualifications and experience appear on the RSSL, you may be eligible for to apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa.
3. Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL)
The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List also contains immediate short-term skills shortages but these shortages are specific to the construction industry. The CISSL is divided into the same 15 regions as the RSSL.
What visas can you apply for?
If your occupation, qualifications and experience appear on the CISSL, you may be eligible for to apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa.
How does Immigration New Zealand decide on the occupations on these lists?
New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) reviews the Essential Skills in Demand Lists regularly, with contributions from industry groups. During these reviews the MBIE decide if any occupations should be:
- Added or removed from a list; or
- Moved to another list.
The first step in the process is selecting occupations for review. Once this has been done, submissions on nominated occupations are invited from industry groups.
The last step is the MBIE deciding on the changes and publishing the new lists.
What if my occupation is not the Essential Skills in Demand Lists?
You still have options if you want to work in New Zealand!
1. Essential Skills Work Visa with motivation from an employer and a labour market test
You could still apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa, even if your occupation doesn’t appear on the Essential Skills in Demand Lists.
To do this, your prospective employer must motivate why they should be allowed to employ a foreigner.
The employer will also have to submit to a labour market test. This means the New Zealand employer must demonstrate that the company advertised the position and could not find a New Zealand citizen or resident to fill the position you’re being offered.
The requirements associated with the labour market test will depend on whether the position is deemed high-skilled or low-skilled:
- High-skilled positions:
- Motivational statement
- The text for the job advert
- Details of where and for how long the advert ran for
- Low-skilled positions:
- A Skills Match Report from Work and Income
- Proof of advertising the role
- Motivational statement
- Proof there are no New Zealanders available to do the work
- Proof there are no New Zealanders who they believe are suitable for the role
From your side, you’d have to be able to prove that you have the skills, qualifications and experience to do the job. You’d also have to obtain professional or trade registrations if applicable.
2. Skilled Migrant Visa
Don’t forget about the Skilled Migrant Visa! This is a highly coveted work visa among migrants because it offers immediate permanent residency to the visa holder. The criteria is strict though!
You’ll have to:
- Be under the age of 55
- Have your skills, experience and qualifications assessed as skilled
- Have an offer of skilled employment
- Meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements
- Meet the minimum English language requirements
3. Other visas that allow you to work
How do I find out if my occupation appears on a skill shortage list?
You can do a search for your occupation on Immigration New Zealand’s website, but your occupation appearing on a skill shortage list is not the full picture. You still have to meet all the other requirements to qualify for a work visa.
If you want to know if you can apply for a work visa, we can help you get to the answer by doing an immigration assessment with you.
You can take the first step right now by booking a consultation call. You’ll speak directly with one of our licensed immigration advisors.
There are three Essential Skills in Demand Lists namely the Long Term Skills Shortage List, the Regional Skills Shortage List and the Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List.
These lists identify skills shortage areas in New Zealand and serve as records of the specific occupations in need.
Your occupation appearing on a skills list is a good sign, but it’s only the first piece of the puzzle. This is why doing an immigration eligibility assessment is always a good way to start your immigration journey!
The New Zealand immigration points system is a pivotal part of your move to New Zealand as a skilled migrant. As such, it’s vital to understand how this system works and how you go about getting your points score.
Let’s start at the beginning though – what exactly is the New Zealand immigration points system?
What is the New Zealand immigration points system?
The New Zealand Immigration points system is one of the tools that Immigration New Zealand use in assessing whether or not you’re eligible to live and work in New Zealand.
Specifically, the points system is designed to allow the ranking of Expressions of Interest which enables Immigration New Zealand to extend Invitations to Apply to overseas applicants who have the most to offer to New Zealand.
How does the points system work?
The New Zealand points system judge your eligibility to live and work in New Zealand by awarding points for factors such as your age, whether or not you have a job offer, previous work experience, qualifications and your partner’s points score.
How many points must you get?
To apply for a Skilled Migrant visa, you must score at least 160 points. Due to this, your chances of successfully obtaining a skilled migrant visa will inevitably require that you have a job offer in place.
If you do not manage to score 160 points but you do score at least 100 points, in other words anywhere from 100 to 159 points, you’ll instead be eligible for an Essential Skills Work visa.
The main difference between these two work visas are the residency it offers. The Essential Skills Work Visa offers temporary residency while the Skilled Migrant visa offers permanent residency.
How does Immigration New Zealand award points?
Immigration New Zealand awards points under five categories:
- Skilled Employment
- Relevant Work Experience
- Your Partner’s Score
It is possible to score bonus points in certain categories. Before we get there, however let’s start with the age category and then we’ll work through all five categories as listed above.
- 30 points: 20-39 years
- 20 points: 40-44 years
- 10 points: 45-49 years
- 5 points: 50-55 years
Please note: You will not qualify if you’re older than 55.
2. Skilled employment
- 50 points: If you have an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand.
- 50 points: If you are currently employed in a skilled occupation in New Zealand.
Skilled employment means employment for which you need specialist, technical or management expertise as well as relevant qualifications and/or work experience to do. It may also be that a minimum pay threshold applies.
Under the Skilled Migrant Category, you can claim points for skilled employment based on a job you’re currently in, or a job offer you have received.
- 10 points where you are:
- In an occupation in an area of absolute skills shortage, or
- Employed in work in a region outside Auckland
- 20 points if:
- Your income is more than twice the New Zealand median income.
- Your partner also has a skilled job or job offer.
3. Relevant work experience
- 10 points: 2 years
- 20 points: 4 years
- 30 points: 6 years
- 40 points: 8 years
- 50 points: 10 years
- 10 points:
- 12 months or more
- And if the work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage bonus points as follows
- 10 points: 2 to 5 years
- 15 points: 6 or more years
- 40 points: Recognised level 4-6 qualification (e.g. trade qualification, diploma) or Level 3 qualification on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment.
- 50 points: Recognised level 7 or 8 qualification (e.g. bachelor degree, bachelor degree with honours)
- 70 points: Recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualification (master’s degree, doctorate)
A recognised qualification is one that’s recognised based on:
- An assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority of the level it occupies on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
- The level it occupies on the NZQF as set out in the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’.
The level it occupies on the NZQF based on the applicant’s occupational registration in New Zealand (if that registration involves an assessment of comparability with a qualification on the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’)
- 10 points for either:
- Two years full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised NZ bachelor degree.
- One year of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised NZ post-graduate qualification.
- 15 points:
- Two years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised post-graduate NZ qualification.
5. Your partner’s score
- 10 points: Your partner holds a level 7-8 qualification.
- 20 points: Your partner holds a recognised post-graduate (level 9-10) qualification.
What does your points score tell you?
Your skilled migrant points score not only acts as an indicator to Immigration New Zealand. Your points score also sets out your migration pathway. It does this by revealing three things:
- Whether or not you qualify for a skilled migrant visa.
- If you do not qualify, what other visa options you could pursue.
- The processes you must follow with your application.
Please keep in mind though that eligibility for a skilled migrant visa does not solely depend on your points score. In addition to achieving the necessary points, you must also meet certain basic criteria such being in good health and of good character.
A word of warning
You’ll find many free tools online that offer to help you calculate your skilled migrant points score.
Tread carefully though! Online tools are often nothing more than a series of yes or no questions. Few have detailed descriptions of requirements or provide guidance on the more intricate parts of the immigration act.
You could thus easily get the wrong points score which could mean that you waste money, build up false hopes and perhaps even miss your chance of immigrating to New Zealand.
Instead of relying on an online calculator, rather get a licensed advisor to calculate your points score for you. A licensed advisor who are up to date with Immigration New Zealand’s requirements will ask you the right questions and request additional information where necessary to calculate your points score.
Get assistance and get the correct score
Intergate Emigration has not one but three licensed immigration advisors to assist you with your visa application from start to finish. This includes explaining how the points system work and calculating your New Zealand points score.
All you have to do to get started is book an initial immigration consultation. During this consultation, our licensed immigration advisor will take you through the immigration process and how we can assist you. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
What are you waiting for? Contact us today to get the ball rolling!
ANZSCO. You may think this is just another immigration acronym, but you’d be wrong. ANZSCO plays a major role in your immigration if you’re applying under the skilled migrant category.
In fact, you’re more than likely not going to be able to apply for a work visa if you can’t meet ANZSCO’s requirements.
For this reason, it’s important to understand all that ANZSCO entails. While there is a lot of information to know, you really only need to know the four facts below to put yourself in a much better position than most people.
1. ANZSCO is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations
ANZSCO stands for Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. It is a system that’s used within the skilled migration programs to set guidelines for the skills and work experience visa applicants must meet to work in specific occupations in Australia or New Zealand.
2. ANZSCO sets skills and work experience standards for the skilled migrant category
As explained above, ANZSCO sets skills and work experience standards for occupations that fall under the skilled migrant category. Further to this, ANZSCO sets out the tasks under each occupation that visa applicants must be able to perform as part of their everyday duties.
What all of the above means is that ANZSCO determines the most important requirements you must meet in order to qualify to apply for a skilled migrant residence and temporary work visa.
The immigration officer assessing your visa application will compare your skills, experience and job duties with those under your occupation on ANZSCO to help her or him come to a decision on your visa application. If you don’t meet all of the requirements, your visa application may be declined.
Let’s look at an example
Let’s assume you’re a chemical engineer for which the ANZSCO code is 233111. According to this code, you must meet these criteria:
- Skill level 1: Bachelor degree or higher. In some instances, experience and/or on-the-job training may also be required.
- Job description: Designs and prepares specifications for chemical process systems and the construction and operation of commercial-scale chemical plants, and supervises industrial processing and fabrication of products undergoing physical and chemical changes.
- Preparing designs for chemical process systems and planning control systems for processes such as those used to remove and separate components, effect chemical changes, test and evaluate fuels, transfer heat, and control the storing and handling of solids, liquids and gases
- Monitoring the operation and maintenance of equipment to achieve maximum efficiency under safe operating conditions
- Ensuring correct materials and equipment are used and that they conform to specifications
- Diagnosing malfunctions in chemical plants and instituting remedial action
- Studying product utilisation and pollution control problems
- Reviewing plans for new products and submitting material selection recommendations in accordance with design specifications and factors such as strength, weight and cost
- Planning and implementing laboratory operations to develop new materials and fabrication procedures for new materials to fulfil production cost and performance standards
- Conferring with producers of materials during the investigation and evaluation of materials suitable for specific product applications
- Reviewing product failure data and implementing laboratory tests to establish or reject possible causes, and advising on ways to overcome any problems
The immigration officer assessing your application would thus want to see from your CV and official statement of service that you have the relevant qualification and experience to work as a chemical engineer in New Zealand.
Furthermore, the officer would want to see that you can perform most or all of the tasks associated with chemical engineers.
3. There are 5 skill levels within ANZSCO
In ANZSCO, skill level is used as an additional differentiator for occupations. Each occupation’s skill level is derived from the range and complexity of tasks associated with the occupation.
How many skill levels are there?
There are five skill levels of which Skill Level 1 is the highest. This means occupations on Skill Level 1 has the greatest range and complexity of tasks. Examples of occupations on Skill Level 1 are audiologists, social workers and surveyors.
Locksmiths, welders and motor mechanics, for instance, are on Skill Level 3. This means these occupations don’t have as many tasks or tasks that are as complex as the occupations on a higher skill level.
Occupations on Skill Level 5 have the smallest range of tasks with the least complexity.
4. You cannot ‘mix and match’ occupations
When applying for a skilled migrant resident or temporary work visa, your occupation and experience must be highly relevant as per the ANZSCO lead statement of the occupation you want to nominate.
Your occupation and experience must also match most of the duties listed. This does however not mean that you or your employer can simply ‘copy and paste’ the ANZSCO description to your application.
Here’s an example of what we mean:
Let’s assume Jane is working as a tutor. Jane might think that she can apply for a visa as a teacher. The job descriptions are similar, after all.
However, many of the tasks associated with teachers on ANZSCO is not performed by tutors. For instance, participating in staff meetings and performing extra-curricular activities such as assisting with sports at the school.
In the same way, a secondary school teacher cannot apply for a visa as a special education teacher. These are in the same profession but are not the same occupation with the same experience.
What if my occupation is not on the ANZSCO list?
There could be two reasons why you can’t find your occupation on ANZSCO:
- Your occupation title is a modern title which was developed more recently. ANZSCO does often not accommodate modern job titles.
- Your occupation is on the list but your job title doesn’t match the occupation title as it appears on ANZSCO. Some occupations are the same when you look at the responsibilities but might not have the same title across the industry. For example, some people call themselves ‘speech-language pathologists’ while others give themselves the title of ‘speech and language therapist’. It’s the same job – speech therapy – but just with another title.
If your occupation does not appear on the ANZSCO list, you should ensure that you:
- look at all other available titles, and
- select the most appropriate job title.
When you do this, you’ll increase the chances of the visa officer being satisfied that you can do ‘most’ of the tasks for the occupation recorded in ANZSCO.
Do you feel you need the assistance of an immigration agent?
You’re always welcome to contact us for assistance. Our immigration advisors are registered and licensed with the IAA in New Zealand. This means you can rest assured that you’ll get advice that you can trust!
Today we’re going to compare the four English language test most migrants take – the IELTS General and Academic, the PTE Academic, and the TOEFL iBT – by doing a side-by-side comparison of these three sections of the tests:
- Test overview
- The parts of the test
- How long it takes to get your test results
This comparison will not only help you understand the differences between the tests, it will also familiarise you with each of these four tests.
Let’s get started:
In the test overview, we give you a short description of what each test assess and how it’s done.
IELTS General and IELTS Academic:
The IELTS tests assess your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours. The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking section, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise.
PTE Academic assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing all via computer in a single three hour test session. To complete a PTE Academic test, you will need to attend a secure Pearson test center. You will use a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions.
The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. It also evaluates how well you combine your reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills to perform academic tasks. The TOEFL iBT test is given in English and administered via the internet. It takes about 3 hours total for the 4 sections of the test (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing).
All four English language tests assess your speaking, writing, reading and listening skills. However, the PTE Academic test assess your speaking and writing skills in one session while the other English tests assess each skill in an individual session.
IELTS General and IELTS Academic: Listening (30 min):
You’ll listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions. Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.
PTE Academic: Speaking & Writing (77 – 93 min):
- Personal introduction
- Read aloud
- Repeat sentence
- Describe image
- Re-tell lecture
- Answer short question
- Summarize written text
- Essay (20 mins)
TOEFL iBT: Reading: (54 – 72 min):
You’ll read three or four passages from academic texts and answer 30 to 40 questions.
IELTS General and IELTS Academic: Reading (60 min):
The Reading section consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.
- General: Reading material includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you’re likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.
- Academic: Reading material includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
PTE Academic: Reading (32 – 40 min):
- Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks
- Multiple choice, choose multiple answers
- Re-order paragraphs
- Reading: Fill in the blanks
- Multiple choice, choose single answer
TOEFL iBT: Listening (41 – 57 min):
You’ll listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer 28 – 39 questions.
IELTS General: Writing (60 min):
Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:
- Task 1: You’ll be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
- Task 2: You’ll be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.
IELTS Academic: Writing (60 min):
Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. There are two tasks:
- Task 1: You’ll be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
- Task 2: You’ll be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.
PTE Academic: Listening (45 – 75 min):
- Summarise spoken text
- Multiple choice, choose multiple answer
- Fill in the blanks
- Highlight correct summary
- Multiple choice, choose single answer
- Select missing word
- Highlight incorrect words
- Write from dictation
TOEFL iBT: Speaking (41 – 57 min):
Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks. You’ll complete four tasks in total.
Part 4 – Only applies to IELTS and TOEFL iBT
IETLS General and IELTS Academic: Speaking (11 – 14 min):
The speaking section assess your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.
- Task 1: The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
- Task 2: You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
- Task 3: You will be asked further questions about the topic in Task 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.
TOEFL iBT: Writing (50 min):
You’ll have to write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks, and support an opinion in writing.
When do you get your results?
Waiting for the results on such an important test is nerve-racking! It helps to know for how long you’ll have to wait. Here we break down the time frames:
IELTS General and IELTS Academic:
If you’ve taken a paper-based test, your Test Report Form will be available 13 days after you complete the test, but if you’ve taken a computer-delivered test, your results will be available between 5 and 7 days after your test.
PTE Academic results are typically available within five business days.
Score reports are available and can be viewed online in your TOEFL iBT account approximately six days after your test date. If you requested a paper copy, it will be mailed to you roundabout 11 days after your test date.
For even more information on each test, go to the individual websites:
Want to know which test you should take?
Our immigration consultants advise on English language tests during the assessment process. You’ll find out if you have to take an English test and which English test is best for your situation.
The first step is an initial assessment to see if you are eligible for immigration to New Zealand. Should this assessment show that you are eligible, you can proceed with a comprehensive assessment. It is during this assessment that our advisors give advice on English tests.
To book your initial assessment, simply complete and submit this short form. You’ll hear from one of our consultants within 24 hours to get started on your immigration journey.
A licensed immigration advisor for New Zealand is a professional who is there to help you with your immigration. They operate in a regulated environment meaning you get qualified advice and expert guidance with the backing of the Immigration Advisors Authority.
Not just anyone can call themselves a licensed advisor though and below we guide you through what an advisor is.
Moving to a new country is never easy. In fact it can be one of the most stressful times of your entire life.
One of the best ways to lighten the burden and to get some much needed support, is to make use of a fully licensed immigration advisor for New Zealand.
Therefore knowing the difference between someone who is licensed as opposed to someone who isn’t will prove extremely valuable.
How do you find a Licensed Immigration Advisor for New Zealand ?
The role of a Licensed Immigration Advisor
According to the law, anybody who provides advice with regard to immigration to New Zealand is required to be licensed by the Immigration Advisor’s Authority, unless they are exempt. No other person or company may provide you with advice concerning New Zealand immigration and visa applications.
Not all Licensed Immigration Advisor’s are the same
There are three types of licensed immigration advisors:
- Fully Licensed Immigration Advisor: Provides you with information pertaining to a vast range of immigration matters. They have the knowledge and expertise to deal with all immigration related matters.
- Provisionally Licensed Immigration Advisor: Provides you with information about all immigration related matters, however the fundamental difference is that they need to be fully supervised by a full license holder.
- Limited Licensed Immigration Advisor: Only able to provide you with advice on specific and limited immigration matters.
Code of Conduct of a Licensed Immigration Advisor
A Licensed Immigration Advisor also has to meet very high competency standards and they follow a highly professional code of conduct.
This code of conduct require advisor’s to:
- Be professional, honest and respectful at all times.
- To provide clients with updates on an ongoing basis.
- To only charge fees which are reasonable and fair.
What is the scope of a Licensed Immigration Advisor For New Zealand?
Some of the many things a New Zealand immigration advisor can help you with:
- Assist and prepare your visa application.
- Assist you with settling into New Zealand.
- Assess the process with regard to if you are able to appeal a visa which was declined.
- Have the competency to assess if you are in New Zealand unlawfully.
- Help you to explore the broad range of visa options.
- Assist you in choosing the best via option for you.
Company versus individual licensing
It is important for us to stress that a person is licensed and not a company. Therefore a company is not able to market themselves as being ‘licensed’ for New Zealand immigration. They are only allowed to market the person who is licensed.
Be sure of your Licensed Immigration Advisor
Any person who provides you with New Zealand immigration advice that is not licensed or exempt is committing an offense under the immigration act.
If you were to use such a person your application will be turned down.
Unlicensed ‘sales people’ are not qualified to provide you with advice. They may also end up costing you money and your chances of emigrating.
Therefore always check that your ‘advisor’ is indeed a Licensed Immigration Advisor for New Zealand.
Does Intergate Immigration have a fully licensed immigration advisor?
Intergate Emigration has 3 licensed immigration advisors:
- Sarah Hewitt (IAA License No. 201600296).
- Katrin Maja Maehl (IAA License No. 201400975).
- Maike Engelke (IAA License number 201600505).
Booking a New Zealand assessment or finding out more:
The New Zealand investor visa offers eligible candidates with the financial means the opportunity to become New Zealand residents. There is the Investor visa and the Investor Plus visa.
Your investment visa route would depend on how much you want to invest, and your ability to meet the requirements of either investment visa.
1. Investor visa
You intend to invest NZD1.5 million in New Zealand for 4 years.
What are the requirements?
To be eligible for the Investor visa, you must:
- Be 65 or younger
- Demonstrate three years of business experience in owning a business or being in a senior management position within a company that has:
- An annual turnover of at least NZ$1 million
- At least five full-time employees
- Meet the required points score
- Meet the English language requirements
- Be able to prove that you have an additional NZ$1 million available to use as settlement funds
- Meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements
2. Investor Plus visa
You intend to invest NZD10 million in New Zealand for three years.
How does the Investor Plus visa differ from the Investor visa?
When you choose to invest through the Investor Plus visa, you’ll have less requirements to meet than someone who applies for the Investor visa:
- There are no age restrictions on the Investor Plus visa
- You don’t have to demonstrate any business experience
- You don’t have to have settlement funds available
- There is no English language requirement or points test applied to the Investor Plus visa
What are the requirements?
To be eligible for an Investor Plus visa, you must:
- Make the required investment in an acceptable investment
- Meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements
How should you invest?
You can only invest in acceptable New Zealand investments, and you have to do invest through the New Zealand banking system. INZ also requires that your investment is from a validated source.
What does INZ recognise as acceptable investments?
Immigration New Zealand defines ‘acceptable investments’ as investments that:
- Are able to make a commercial return
- Are invested in New Zealand
- Are invested in New Zealand dollars
- Are invested in legal enterprises or managed funds
- Have the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy
- Are not for your personal use, for example, your home, boat or car.
Investments must be in bonds, equities, property or other investments, and INZ lists five types of acceptable investments on their website:
- Equity in a New Zealand company
- Investments in new residential property developments
- Investments in commercial property
- Philanthropic investments
- Growth investments
You can read more about acceptable investments on Immigration New Zealand’s website.
Here’s how the application process works
If you wish to apply for a New Zealand Investor visa, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest. If your Expression of Interest is successful, you’ll get an invitation to apply for New Zealand residence.
Should INZ approve your residence in principle, you’ll have 12 months to transfer your investment funds into an acceptable investment in New Zealand. You’ll have to provide verifiable documents to show that the investments came from the funds and/or assets you’ve nominated.
You do not have to submit an Expression of Interest for the Investor Plus visa. You can apply for this visa at any time.
You must do this after your residence is approved…
Immigration New Zealand requires that investor visa holders keep their investments in New Zealand and spend a minimum amount of time in New Zealand:
- Keep the investment funds in an acceptable investment for four years.
- Spend at least 146 days per year in New Zealand, or 438 days at any time over the four year investment period if you’ve invested a minimum of NZD750,000 in growth investments.
Investor Plus visa:
- Keep your investment funds in an acceptable investment for three years.
- Spent at last 44 days in each of the last two years of your three-year investment period in New Zealand, or, 88 days at any time over the three year investment period if you’ve invested a minimum of NZD2.5 million in growth investments.
Find out if you’re eligible for a New Zealand Investor visa
To see if you’re eligible to apply for either the Investor or Investor Plus visa, book a consultation call with our licensed advisor. You’ll discover if you meet the requirements to apply for either Investor Visa and find out how the application process works.