Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Visa


This visa is aimed towards people who can contribute to New Zealand's economic and commercial growth. The immigration office requires people to send an 'Expression of Interest (EOI) which consists of description about the applicant's employment in New Zealand, relevant work experience and educational qualification. If immigration New Zealand is satisfied with the EOI then it sends an invitation to the applicant to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) visa. This Visa allows the applicant to live, study and work in New Zealand for an indefinite period.

Duration: Indefinitely

Age requirement: 55 years or under

Advantages of Visa: Applicant can include partner, dependent children under age 24 years in the application.

Key notes:

  • The application is point based (
  • EOI's being selected for points 160 or above
  • This visa is not applicable for people who are self-employed. (Self employed applicants have to apply for an Entrepreneur Resident Visa)

Application Process:

1. Applicant has to submit an EOI (Expression of Interest) to Immigration New Zealand
2. After careful consideration Immigration New Zealand will send an invitation to the applicant to apply for Skilled migrant category visa (SMC)
3. Applicant will then send his completed application with all the evidences required and Skilled migrant category form
4. Immigration New Zealand will take the decision

Stage 1: Online EOI (Expression of Interest) processing Time

  • Invitation to apply - 3 weeks
  • EOI (Expression of Interest) Selection - every 2 weeks

Stage 2: Paper Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Submission

  • After Invitation timeframe to submit application - 4 months
  • Visa Processing time - up to 6 months


Stage 1: Online EOI (Expression of Interest) Submission

  • Application Cost: $ 530

Stage 2: Paper Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Submission

  • Application Cost: $ 2470

Documents Check List:

1. Identity:

  • Valid Passport
  • 2 Acceptable photos (As per Immigration New Zealand requirements)

2. Character:

  • Police Certificate*
  • Cover letter

3. Health:

  • Chest X-ray*
  • Medical certificate*

4. English Language::

  • Recognised Qualification comparable to New Zealand's Bachelor degree (Level 7)
  • Ielts English language Test results (Minimum band - 6 each in module)
  • PTE English Language test (Minimum 58)

5. Age:

  • The documents submitted for identity are used as evidence

6. Skilled Employment:

  • Employment Contract of Skilled Occupation
  • Work Experience
  • Qualification
  • Occupational Registration (If Required)

7. Skilled Work Experience:

  • ANZCO level 1,2 and 3 occupation (Work should match ANZCO description)
  • If the work is not in ANZCO level 1,2 and 3 occupation (Further documentation is needed and the remuneration offered should be at or above $ 35.24 per hour)

8. Expression of Interest:

  • The point total claimed should be at or above the threshold of 160 points

Invitation to apply for Residence:

  • Agreement from Employer
  • Job Description of current employment
  • Occupational Registration (If Applicable)
  • Qualification and Academic Transcripts (Original or Certified)
  • Work Experience - references, payslips, tax records or contracts
  • Proof of Partner if you have claimed points

After receiving the above documents and completing the stages of application, Immigration New Zealand will take the decision of SMC visa.


  • * The Police Clearance Certificate should not be more than 6 months old. For those who are aged 17 or above and are planning to Stay in New Zealand for a duration of 24 months or more will require to provide Police Clearance Certificates
    (i) From the country(s) of citizenship. Or
    (ii) From any country, where you have spent a duration of more than five years since turning 17.
  • *Medical Certificate should be provided along with a Chest X-ray. Chest X-ray is mandatory for those who will be residing in New Zealand for duration of 6 months or more. Applies to those :-
    (i) Who belong to a country that does not have a low occurrence of Tuberculosis.
    (ii) Who have spent duration of 3 months or more in the past five years in a country that has a high occurrence of tuberculosis.
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