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Emigrate to New Zealand

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The Skilled Migration category is core to the New Zealand Immigration strategy. The Skilled Migration category offers individuals the opportunity to emigrate to New Zealand by helping boost the New Zealand skilled workforce.

This category was designed to minimise the risk of a mismatch between the skills migrants bring and the skills New Zealand needs. Migration under this category follows a step-by-step application process, from the initial assessment of ability to the settlement stage in New Zealand.

If you are a highly skilled worker, your application to New Zealand may be processed much faster due to new work policy changes.

The new Essential Skills work policy separates occupations into highly skilled and lower skilled levels.  Those applying for highly skilled visas may now be eligible for a temporary work permit, rather than a permanent residency visa.

If you are a highly skilled worker and are applying for a skill level one occupation that earns over $55,000, you can now be granted a five year work permit, rather than having to apply for a Residence Visa.  You can also apply for three-year extensions to your permit, provided the need for your skill still exists at the time of application.

To be eligible to emigrate to New Zealand you must:

If successful, you will be given:

Job Offers and Skilled Trades or Professions
  • While the New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) looks favourably on those who already have a job offer in New Zealand in a skilled profession, it is not a requirement to qualify for migration under this category.
  • Nurses, Social Workers, Engineers, Motor Mechanics, Electricians, Welders, Fabricators and Metal Workers are in particularly high demand in New Zealand.
  • Workers in these professions may be able to qualify quickly without a job offer.