Skilled Migrant Category

The Skilled Migrant Category is a points-based Residence system that is designed to provide for the grant of New Zealand Residence visas to people who have the skills needed in New Zealand, and who are able to demonstrate an ability to contribute and successfully settle in New Zealand.

The Skilled Migrant Category is a two-stage process which requires the submission of an Expression of Interest in the first instance. Expressions of Interest are ordinarily selected every two weeks; however, selections have been suspended since March 2020 and there are now over 11,000 Expressions of Interest in the queue.

Applicants who were able to submit an Expression of Interest and receive an Invitation to Apply for Residence prior to the suspension of selections have been able to continue to submit their Residence applications. However, Immigration New Zealand are currently taking over two years to process Residence visa applications.

The backlog of applications still awaiting processing and the significant number of Expressions of Interest in the selection pool are likely to mean a change to the Skilled Migrant eligibility criteria will be announced with any resumption of selections.

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