Immigration update: Skilled Residence Pathways

13th October 2023

Over the last year and a half, a number of changes have been made to the skilled residence pathways in New Zealand. The highly anticipated changes to the Skilled Migrant Category came into effect earlier this month, and with New Zealand experiencing a migration boom, it is a good time to recap the current immigration settings. A summary of the skilled residence pathways is below.


Summary of Residence Pathways

Summary of Skilled Residence Pathways

Image reproduced from INZ website


Selecting the right pathway is just the beginning. Each of these pathways have their own rules and requirements. It is essential that a comprehensive eligibility assessment is undertaken before you select a pathway to ensure that your application is successful.

Complications arise when applicants have misunderstood the work experience requirements, or their supporting documents (such as their employment contract) are not suitable for immigration purposes.


The new rules for the Skilled Migrant Category

Under the new Skilled Migrant Category, applicants will need six points to be granted residence.

Applicants who wish to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa will need to meet one of the following: 


  • Occupational registration (where an occupation has a regulated registration, licensing, or certification scheme in NZ and full registration requires at least 2 years of formal training or experience)
  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher level qualification, or
  • A skilled job earning at least 1.5 x median wage in New Zealand


If applicants do not gain enough points through one of these skill pathways, they will need to gain additional points through having skilled work experience in New Zealand.


You need an accetable job

Image reproduced from INZ website

How we can assist

At McMillan&Co, we will assess your eligibility and identify the appropriate visa for your circumstances. We will guide you on your pathway to residency, helping you make the right decisions and apply under the correct criteria for the best chance of success.

Your dream of living in New Zealand is too important to risk by making mistakes on your application. McMillan&Co takes the stress out of the process by setting you on the right path and ensuring that you are providing the right information and supporting documents to Immigration New Zealand.


Sarah Caulton, Senior Associate