Residence Visa For New Zealand

If you are traveling from to New Zealand on long term basis, then you need to know about the residence visa for New Zealand. It is possible for non-residents to travel to New Zealand through tourist or visitor permits but if you are planning to stay in New Zealand for more than 3 months, you need the residence visa.

New Zealand is a great place to live with plenty of opportunities. If you’ve always dreamed of moving to NZ and living the adventure, this article will guide you through the process of obtaining your New Zealand residence visa and help you start your journey!

If you are keen to work and live in New Zealand longterm, then you can apply for a residence visa. This article will help you understand the residence visa application process, eligibility criteria, application procedure and what documents are required to apply for the visa.

You have decided that New Zealand will be the place where you will settle down and call home. Whether you’ve come to enjoy New Zealand’s great outdoors, have been hired by a business in search of skilled workers, the Kiwi dream has offered you a new start, or you’ve satisfied the work or investor requirements — you are now planning how you can live and stay longer in New Zealand!

Residence Visa For New Zealand

If a person is able to meet the requirements for an Investor Plus visa, then he/she can choose either of these two visas. It is up to the applicant to provide enough evidence that shows compliance with the Investor Plus (IP) requirements.

Move to New Zealand and live here indefinitely.

A resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category will allow you to live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely and you can include your partner and your dependent children aged 24 and under.

This visa policy is based on a points system that factors in multiple elements considered to be employability and settlement indicators.

Applicants submit an online Expression of Interest to start the process of becoming a New Zealand resident.

A job offer is usually required to meet the points threshold and to proceed to the next step of the visa application process, the actual Resident Visa Application.

Once you are a permanent resident of New Zealand you will be able to move between jobs and are free to choose any work you like.

Our Fusion Service will provide you with the support you will need to successfully complete this process.

new zealand employers icon

Live in NZ

skilled worker migrants icon

Work in NZ

partnership and family migrants icon

Bring Family to NZ

Study in NZ

Do you want to become a permanent resident in New Zealand?

The pathway to permanent residence under the Skilled Migrant Category is complex.

The SMC resident visa application process formally consists of two main stages:

  • the Expression of Interest and
  • the actual Residence Visa Application.

In some cases an external assessment of the applicant’s qualifications by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, NZQA, will be necessary as well, and for certain professions registration with the professional body in charge might be required.

However, in practice the process of becoming a permanent resident under the SMC policy is a lot more complicated than that

At NZIC we can help you navigate the pathway to becoming a skilled migrant under the SMC policy.

“NZIC guided me all the way through getting my first work visa to permanent residency. Their job seeking support was key when I first arrived in NZ, communication was always easy and clear. I’m very thankful for their help and definitely recommend their services.”

A.F (Canada)

The Residence Visa Application Process under the Skilled Migrant Category policy:


Expression of Interest (EOI)

In your online Expression of Interest you will claim points for your qualifications, work experience, age etc. All Expressions of Interest received will be ranked from highest to lowest points and placed into a Pool.

Every fortnight Immigration New Zealand selects the Expressions of Interest with the highest point scores from the Pool. This process is called Selection.

While the SMC policy states that the minimum requirement for submitting an EOI is at 100 points, the points score that is actually necessary for an Expression of Interest to be selected from the Pool has been set at 160.

This means that all Expressions of Interest with a points score of 160 or more will automatically be selected.

Expressions of Interest that have been successfully selected from the Pool will undergo a preliminary assessment, where Immigration New Zealand will check the credibility of the information provided by you in your EOI.


Residence Application

At the start of this second stage of the application process, your application for a Resident Visa will be submitted to Immigration New Zealand, including all documents proving the point claims made in the Expression of Interest.

Once your resident visa application has been lodged, Immigration New Zealand will assess it against Government residence policy. They will also look at your potential to settle successfully and make a real contribution to New Zealand’s social and economic development.

The assessment against settlement and contribution requirements will take into consideration the application as a whole, including information gained at interview, if an interview is conducted.

Depending on how well you are able to demonstrate your ability or potential to successfully settle in New Zealand, your application may be approved and you will be granted a Resident Visa, or you may instead be granted a Work Visa, which will enable you to establish yourself in skilled employment in New Zealand, or your application may be declined.  

How the process to become a resident works in practice

In practice several further steps will be required before you can reach your goal of becoming a permanent resident in New Zealand.

Obtaining a job offer in New Zealand will be a vital component of your immigration process, and you will most likely also have to apply for a work visa on your pathway to residence under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Again you will face the Catch 22 dilemma.

You will need a job in New Zealand:

Most migrants need a job offer for their Expression of Interest to be successful.

Unless you can claim at least 160 points in your EOI, you will not be able to move to the next stage of your residence process, your Resident Visa Application.

A job offer will entitle you to 50-110 points for your Expression on Interest and lift you over the minimum points mark.

The Catch 22 dilemma:

When looking for the job that will give you those important points for your EOI, you will come across the Catch 22 job search wall once again: a job offer is a vital component of your immigration process, but it is difficult to get a job offer as long as you do not have a visa yet.

You will need a work visa:

Once you have found a job, your New Zealand employer will expect you to start working as soon as possible.
You need a work visa. It will give you the legal right to start working in your new job while you are waiting for your residence process to be completed.

Leave a Comment