New Zealand is one of classic migration countries in the world among USA, Canada, Australia, migrants make important contributions to the labour market in both high and low-skilled occupations. Skilled migrants not only fill up skilled labour shortage, contribute more in taxes and social contributions than they receive in individual benefits, also importantly they contributes to spur innovation and economic growth.

The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is the way skilled migrants qualify to gain Permanent Residence (PR) to New Zealand. It is managed by Immigration New Zealand under the Immigration Act. Under the SMC, points are allocated for age, work experience, employment in New Zealand and qualifications, amongst other categories.

Point system
All of the available points are listed below. 100 points will get your EOI into the ‘Pool’, but themore points you have, the more likely you are to be selected.

Age
30 points: 20-29 years
25 points: 30-39 years
20 points: 40-44 years
10 points: 45-49 years
5 points: 50-55 years.

Close family
10 points for close family in New Zealand.

Skilled employment
50 points: job offer
50 points: working in a skilled job in New Zealand for less than 12 months
60 points: working in a skilled job in New Zealand for more than 12 months.

Bonus points
10 points: work in an identified future growth area
10 points: work in an area of absolute skills shortage
10 points: work in a region outside Auckland
20 points if partner has a skilled job or job offer.

Work experience in skilled employment
10 points: 2 years
15 points: 4 years
20 points: 6 years
25 points: 8 years
30 points: 10 years.

Bonus points for work experience in New Zealand:
Five points: one year
10 points: two years
15 points: three or more years.
And if the work experience is in an identified future growth area:
10 points: 2 to 5 years experience
15 points: 6 or more years experience.

And if the work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage:
10 points: 2 to 5 years
15 points: 6 or more years.

Qualifications
40 points: recognised level 4-6 qualification (e.g. trade qualification, diploma)
50 points: recognised level 7 or 8 qualification (e.g. bachelor degree, bachelor degree with
honours)
60 points: recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualification (masters degree, doctorate)
Bonus points for qualifications:
10 points: two years full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised bachelor degree New

Zealand qualification
10 points: One year of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised post-graduate New

Zealand qualification
15 points: two years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised post-graduate

New Zealand qualification
10 points: qualification in an identified future growth area
10 points: qualification in an area of absolute skills shortage
10 points if your partner holds a level 4-6 qualification
20 points: if your partner holds a level 7+ qualification.

Selection process
The process commences with lodging an Expression of Interest form, then Immigration New Zealand (INZ) makes a selection out of the pool. Applicants with 140 points or more are generally automatically accepted without having to go into the pool.
If there are not enough applicants with 140 points or more, applicants with a skilled job or skilled job offer in New Zealand are selected. When 100 points are reached, INZ starts selecting from applicants claiming 15 points for work experience in an area of absolute skills job shortage. When all these are selected, they then go to the applicants claiming 15 points for work experience in an area of absolute skills job shortage.
Once an applicant’s EOI has been selected, an immigration officer is then assigned to the application for verification of supporting documents and assessment.