Migrants who come to New Zealand on temporary visas like student visa or work visa are often concerned about getting the visa which can allow them to work and live permanently in New Zealand.

To work and live permanently in New Zealand, migrants have to apply for the visa based on their occupation and skills. The different visa options are:

1. Skilled Migrant Category

The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) offers the applicants, the opportunity to move to New Zealand to work and live permanently. To be eligible for residence under SMC the applicant must:

  • be 55 or under
  • be healthy
  • be of good character
  • speak English.

There is a point system used by the Immigration New Zealand to be eligible. The applicants get points for age, experience, employability and qualifications.
There are two steps involved in applying under this category:

a. The applicant must complete an Expression of Interest, telling about themselves, their family, their skills and their experience.

b. If the applicant has enough points, Immigration accept their Expression of Interest, and send an Invitation to Apply. The applicant complete it, and return it to the immigration with all supporting documents.

2. Work to Residence

This category applies to the applicants who:

  • are qualified in occupations that are in demand in New Zealand, or
  • have a job offer from an accredited employer, or
  • have exceptional talent in sports or the arts.

This option allows applicants to apply for a temporary work visa as a step towards gaining permanent residence. The requirements that all applicants need to meet:

To enter New Zealand an applicant must:

  • be in good health and of good character, and
  • have a passport that is valid for at least three months past the date you are to leave New Zealand, and
  • be genuine in wanting to work in New Zealand, and
  • have the right visa for your visit.

If an applicant is granted a work visa an applicant need to meet certain conditions during his/her stay:

  1. the work an applicant do must be in line with the conditions specified in the visa
  2. the applicant must obey New Zealand’s laws
  3. the applicant must only stay in New Zealand for the time allowed by visa.

If an applicant breaks any of these conditions immigration may require him/her to leave New Zealand immediately. As well as meeting the requirements for all applicants, an applicant must meet the requirements of the category under which an applicant apply for a Work to Residence visa. The category an applicant apply under depends on his/her occupation and circumstances

3. Residence from Work:

This category is for people who are already in New Zealand on a Work to Residence visa, and want to apply for residence.

To be eligible for residence under this category, the applicant and anyone else included on the application must meet health, character and English language requirements, and the applicant must meet the requirements for the category that work visa was granted under. If the applicant is including a partner in the application, the applicant must also meet requirements for recognition of a partnership.
For all legal queries please contact below:

Barrister & Solicitor
Kenton Chambers Lawyers
Ph: +64 9 358 1900
Fax: +64 9 358 1903
EMAIL: raj@kentonlaw.co.nz / ashima@kentonlaw.co.nz