New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category allows all foreigners with essential skills to migrate and settle in New Zealand permanently. This program is a points-based scheme that allows you to work in New Zealand with access to complete Labour market. The SMC residence visa is issued for 2 years initially and can be converted to a PR with ease after successfully settling in New Zealand and meet the residence requirements. This is a family visa where you are eligible to apply for your spouse and dependent children for a residence along with your application. You can get your Citizenship after 5 years following your New Zealand residence status.
Residence visa – Skilled migrant category
Skilled migrant category visa is the residence visa granted for skilled professionals with intent to settle permanently in New Zealand.
To apply under the Skilled Migrant Category New Zealand, you must meet the basic requirements.
– Be under 56 years of age.
– Meet the English language requirements.
– Nominate an occupation on the INZ’s List of Skilled Occupations and meet the entry-level requirements for that occupation.
– Meet the registration requirements if the chosen or nominated occupation is a regulated occupation in NZ; and
– Meet the health and character requirements.
After you apply for a residence visa
Based on the applicant’s ability to settle in NZ successfully and his/her strong ties and commitment, a Job seeker visa or direct residence visa can be granted.
Job seeker visa is issued for 9 months which will allow you to search jobs and the applicant is required to have sufficient funds towards the stay in New Zealand. The SMC Job Search visa is an opportunity to seek skilled employment in New Zealand. It is not a guarantee of work, a job offer, or of residence. Family is not allowed to accompany an applicant on Job seeker visa. After obtaining a Job offer, the applicant is allowed to file a residence visa and can include his/her family to New Zealand.
Residence visa granted will allow you work and settle in NZ for at least 24 months and travel indefinitely. After completing 24 months you will be eligible to apply for a Permanent resident visa considering you were a resident for a total of 184 days or more in each of the two 12-month portions of the 24 months immediately preceding the permanent resident visa application.
You need to have, lived in legally in New Zealand for five years before applying for citizenship.
An applicant must meet at least 140 points to get automatically selected from the pool , where the selection process will be held every fortnight.
Applicants with points above 100 and below 140, will have good chances only if they have a Job offer from New Zealand or they meet at least 135 or above with maximum points on absolute skills. It is recommended to have a Job offer if the applicant’ s score is below 140 and above 100.
Points can be granted on various factors like Age, skilled employment or Job offer from NZ, recent work experience in an occupation as per Long-term skills shortage list, Spouse Job offer, Spouse qualifications, Family or close relatives in New Zealand.
Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category meet the minimum standard of English if they provide a Test Report Form (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), showing they achieved an overall band score of at least 6.5 in the IELTS General or Academic Module or may also provide the recognized qualifications completed in the medium of instruction English. It is the immigration officer’s discretion to insist on any test scores even after producing the qualifications.
May also be required for your partner.
The applicant will need to have sufficient funds towards cost of living, travel and relocation. For a Job seeker visa, you would need to show funds of 1000$ per month for total 9 months which will be checked.
- Expression of Interest NZ$510 (approx. US$420)
- NZQA Pre Assessment: NZ$138, Process time will be 20-30 days.
- NZQA Full Assessment: NZ$746, Process time: 35 to 45 days.
- Resident Visa – Skilled Migrant Category NZ$1500 – NZ$2,400 (depending on where you are currently residing)
- Migrant Levy NZ$310 per successful applicant aged five or over, NZ$155 per successful applicant aged under five years
* New Zealand Qualification Assessment (if required): If your qualifications are not listed in the recognized institutes exempted from assessment, you need a Pre-assessment result to file your EOI application and upon approval must get the International qualifications assessment completed to submit with your residence visa application.
** If there are more than four people included in a single application, the migrant levy is only payable by the four oldest family members.
***Other costs like Notary, translation, courier charge ,DD charges will also exist and these costs vary based on the 3rd parties.
Stage 1: Applicant is required to complete a qualifications assessment from NZQA( if applicable)Expression of Interest.
Stage2: Applicant is required to submit an Expression of interest with Immigration New Zealand(INZ)
Stage3: Following a invitation received from INZ in response to your invitation, you are required to apply for your residence visa at the nearest processing centers. The processing centers vary as per the applicants country of residence.
Qualifications assessment (if applicable): 2-3 months. *May vary as per the processing department.
Any registration or license required: 3-4 months*May vary as per the processing department.
Visa process time: 18 – 24 months to get the Visa from the date of filing the application with the New Zealand Immigration Office. However, the processing timelines will vary w.r.t to the flow of applications and the annual cap availability.
As per New Zealand immigration rules, it is mandatory to process an application or take an immigration advice from a Licensed immigration adviser. Y-Axis has partnered with a Licensed immigration advisers in New Zealand for the promotion of New Zealand Immigration Services in India.
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