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Skilled Migration

There are 4 pathways to residence and a major change is that we no longer have any cap on numbers (the thinking being that the new settings are calibrated to keep numbers in check):

Described in more detail:

1. Straight to Residence:  This is for those who meet Tier One of the Green List.  This is a "red carpet" residence category that can be applied for immediately after you receive a suitable job offer from an Accredited Employer.  For those that do not need National Security Checks or have complications, the average processing time is 4-6 weeks;​

2. The Skilled Migrant Category - now a 6-point scheme.  This is now an amalgamation of our old Work to Residence and the Skilled Migrant Category.  The major changes are that no qualification below a Bachelor's Degree can be claimed for points.  No overseas work experience can be claimed. There remains an Expression of Interest, but that has now been automated and is free of charge. The rules were introduced to help streamline the category.  While It has achieved that in certain respects, there are still many fishhooks for the unaware;

3.  Green List Tier Two (Work To Residence).  This is for those who have worked for 24 months in a role on the Green List and who meet all requirements of the Green List.  There are (as of November 2023 32 roles on Tier Two including all Teachers and several Trades;

4.  Sector Agreements (Work to Residence).   Currently the Sector Agreements in place cover Truck Drivers, Bus Drivers, and Healthcare Workers.  Those who qualify must also work in the prescribed role for 24 months before being able to apply for residence.

It may be that there is some overlap.  For example, a person may be eligible for both Straight to Residence as well as having 6 points.  There may be reasons to choose one pathway or another which our Advisers can advise on.

All of the above routes share in common the following:​

  • An age cut-off of 55

  • A requirement for the main application to pass an English Test to the level of IELTS 6.5

  • The need to have a qualifying job or job offer from an Accredited Employer.


A key issue for migrants who are off-shore is how to catch a skilled job offer from afar, particularly when New Zealand Employers tend to insist on you having working rights or being in New Zealand before they will consider your application.  Well, that is where our Job Search Support comes in.  For more information see here.

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