Below is a summary of the New Zealand Immigration Skilled Migrant Points System in order to evaluate if you qualify to immigrate to New Zealand.
We have included a copy of the calculator here for your convenience. Please remember that our calculator is only an indicator in order for you to do a quick test of your eligibility.
Please note that this information was gathered from publicly available information on the Immigration New Zealand website. It is summarised here for your information only, SA Going To NZ does not claim to have any knowledge of the immigration process and as such this article is not immigration advice. It is up to you to decide which immigration option is best for you. Although this information is valid at the time of writing, it is important to ensure that it is still so by visiting the INZ site and checking for yourself.
You can do that on the Immigration New Zealand website HERE
Throughout the article links have been added to the relevant sections on the site in order for you to do the actual steps yourself so keep an eye out for this icon : . By clicking on it you will be taken to the relevant page on the NZIS website.
Why a Points System?
The main aim of the NZIS having a Skilled Migrant category is to ensure that skills shortages are avoided or addressed. These shortages are not in all industries so NZIS have set up a list of “Essential Skills in Demand” which they use to ensure only the skills which are missing in New Zealand are supplemented.
These shortages are also not experienced in all geographical areas of New Zealand. With 25% of the population being concentrated in the Auckland region, NZIS would prefer to bring in skilled migrants that will settle outside of Auckland so that they can help the economy grow in these areas.
They have also identified industries which have the potential to show strong growth in the future which they want to stimulate to help increase the economy. You are thus more valuable to the country if you willing / able to work in one of these identified future growth areas.
The future growth areas are currently :
- Information Communications Technology
- Creative industries (Advertising, Software & Computing Services, Publishing, TV and Radio, Film and Video, Architecture, Design, Designer Fashion, Music and Performing Arts, Visual Arts).
NZIS also wants to attract immigrants that will integrate well into New Zealand. Some factors that contribute to this are whether you know the country already through previous work in New Zealand, if you are currently working in New Zealand, if you have immediate family in New Zealand, if your partner is able to work in New Zealand, if you and your partner have a good command of English, etc.
You are also able to contribute more to the country if you are young as you have more productive years ahead of you.
NZIS have sat down and decided which of the above points are more and less important and given each factor a point according to how important they are to their immigration objectives. The more important, the higher the point. This allows for a fair and standard model for assessing potential immigrants to New Zealand.
Calculate Your Points
The points are awarded as follows (as at 29 July 2009). You can get an idea of your points here or at the official NZIS site .
Are Your Points Enough
Every year NZIS is given a quota of immigrants they are allowed to grant residence to. This quota is set by the government at the end of June. For the 2009 / 2010 year it has been set at 45 000 to
50 000 approved places. Of these places it is estimated that between 26 800 and 29 950 will be granted to those applying under the Skilled Migrant option.
Obviously there are more people wanting to come to New Zealand than the available places. NZIS then rank the applications in decending order. They then choose the most valuable candidates and progress down the ranks until their quota is full.
In order to speed up this process and not waste their, or your time, they have structured the immigration process into two steps :
Expression of Interest (EOI) – where you tell them what you have and they calculate your points based on that information. If you have enough points you go into a pool along with the other canididates. From that pool the best candidates are selected and invited to apply for residence.
Invitation to Apply (ITA) – You are required to prove what you said you have in your Expression of Interest. If everything checks out okay, you are granted residence.
Currently the minimum points you need in order to submit your Expression of Interest is 100, but this just means that you will be accepted into the pool of EOI’s (Expression of Interest). Every two weeks NZIS selects the best applicants with the highest points first, then those with lower points after that. When the quota has been reached, all the remaining applicants are returned to the pool. Your application can remain in the pool for up to 6 months.
The pecking order for selecting applications is as follows :
- Points totalling over 140 – automatic selection
- All EOIs with a job or a job offer claiming points between 100 and 135 points.
- All EOIs claiming 15 points for work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage and with a points total between 100 and 135 points.
- All EOIs claiming 10 points for work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage and with a points total between 100 and 135 points.
- All EOIs claiming 10 points for a qualification in an area of absolute skill shortage and with a points total between 100 and 135 points.
- All EOIs with a points total of 115 points where there are no points claimed for a job or job offer, work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage, or qualification in an area of absolute skill shortage.
If you do have enough points, you can get an idea of the steps required to apply for Permanent Residence HERE
If you don’t have enough points, or if your qualifications are not on the skills shortage list, then all is not lost. Many folks are in this boat and are still able to move to New Zealand by finding themselves skilled employment or working for a period of time in New Zealand or by following one of the other migrant options. An overview of the various migrant options is available HERE.