Working in New Zealand: Permanent vs Temporary Residency

/ / Working in New Zealand

new zealand skilled migrantOur advisers have picked up something during their daily dealings with clients. Many people enquiring about working in New Zealand assume that both the Skilled Migrant visa and Essential Skills visa offer permanent residency.

This is not the case.

Only the Skilled Migrant visa offers permanent residency to skilled workers. The Essential Skills visa offers temporary residency instead.

The outcome of your assessment will determine which visa you qualify for.

Skilled Migrant vs Essential Skills

Let’s elaborate on what we’ve just said:

NZ Skilled migrant options

How is it decided which visa you qualify for?

You’ll become eligible for a Skilled Migrant visa when you score 160 points or more in your points score. Points are awarded for:

  • Skilled employment.
  • Qualifications.
  • Relevant work experience.
  • Age.
  • Your partners score.
  • Certain bonus points.

Be mindful of the fact that you’ll also still have to meet all the basic criteria.

What if my points score is less than 160 points?

When you don’t score 160 points or more in your New Zealand Skilled Migrant points score, you might still be eligible for an Essential Skills work visa. This is of course subject to also meeting the requirements of this visa:

  • You must be in possession of a written full time job offer from a New Zealand employer.
  • Your occupation must be on the essential skills list and you must possess the required skills and experience to carry out this occupation.
  • Immigration New Zealand must be satisfied that there is no suitable New Zealanders for the position.
  • You must have the necessary skills and/or qualifications to perform the role you have been offered.
  • Your remuneration must be according to the ANZSCO level of your occupation and the newly published remuneration bands.

All is not lost if it’s residency you want

It happens from time to time that applicants assessed for Essential Skills work visas find they meet the required points score for Skilled Migrant visas.

Hence, get an assessment done as the first step in pursuing your dream of working in New Zealand. You never know what your points score might reveal.

Important too is to deal with a licensed adviser. It’s the only way to be sure that you’re dealing with a person who has all the latest knowledge on requirements and points.

Let’s recap residency when working in New Zealand

  1. The Skilled Migrant visa offers permanent residency, while the Essentials Skills visa offers temporary residency up to 5 years.
  2. To qualify for the Skilled Migrant visa, you must get 160 points or more..
  3. It might still happen that you apply for an Essential Skills visa and find out you do in fact qualify for a Skilled Migrant visa.

How do I get my points score?

The best way to find out what your points score is, is to have an assessment done by a licensed immigration adviser. Insist on seeing an IAA license number. No license to show? Then move along swiftly!

Get your FREE initial assessment here

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