New Zealand Visa Requirements: Skilled Migrant

You must meet all health, character and English language requirements to obtain a visa or permit for New Zealand as a skilled migrant.

Health Requirements

You are considered to have an acceptable standard of health if you are:

  • Unlikely to be a danger to public health;
  • Unlikely to be a burden on New Zealand health services; and
  • Fit for the purpose of entry to New Zealand.
Check If You Qualify For A Skilled Visa

An initial assessment of your health status will be made by an immigration officer when your application is submitted for consideration. The assessment is based on the health declarations made in the application and from medical certificates (where required).

If you or a family member included in your application does not meet the required standard of health, your application will be declined unless a medical waiver is granted. Medical waivers will only be accepted if all other application requirements have been met.

Medical waivers will not be granted to people who:

  • Require dialysis treatment, or a consultant physician has indicated that they will require such treatment in the immediate future;
  • Have active tuberculosis (TB);
  • Have a mental disorder or intellectual disability that has needed care in a hospital or supervised residence for more than 90 days in the last 2 years; or
  • Have a physical incapacity that requires full-time care.
New Zealand Skilled Visa Assessment

Character Requirements

Applicants will need to prove they and everyone in their family who is 17 years of age or older are of good character.

Residence in New Zealand will be refused on character grounds if you or your family member:

  • Have ever been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years or more;
  • Have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more during the last 10 years; or
  • Have ever been deported from New Zealand or any other country.

If there is reason to believe you might be associated with criminal groups, constitute a danger to New Zealand, or engage in criminal offending after your arrival you will most likely be refused residence.

English Language Requirements

The NZIS requires the principal applicant under the Skilled Migrant category to have a reasonable standard of English.

Proof of English language ability must be shown where English is not the primary language of the applicant, including:

  • Applicants must be able to reach an overall band score of at least 6.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General or Academic Module; or
  • Applicants can provide evidence that their recognised qualification(s) were gained as a result of a course or courses of study in which English was the only medium of instruction; and
  • If that qualification was gained in New Zealand the qualification had a minimum completion time of at least 2 years or it is a post-graduate qualification and the applicant has an undergraduate qualification that qualifies for points; or
  • The applicant has had current skilled employment in New Zealand for a period of at least 12 months.
New Zealand Skilled Visa Assessment

Partners and dependent children of the principle visa applicant under the Skilled Migrant category must also be able to satisfy New Zealand Immigration they have the minimum standard of English, or are willing to undertake ESOL training to do so.

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