nz residency
Migrating to New Zealand

New Zealand Residency Through Your Career

Your career could open the door to the opportunity to live permanently in New Zealand.

New Zealand immigration provides various visa residency options for people who work in certain occupations.

These residency options are referred to as skilled residency pathways and depending on your occupation and eligibility, you may be able to get New Zealand residency.

There are 3 skills-based residency pathways with options that may allow you to apply for residency straight away or they may require you to work in New Zealand for a period of time before applying for residency.

We’ve summarised these skilled residency pathways below.

residency pathways

Residency Pathways for Skilled Workers

You may be eligible for residency in New Zealand via one of the below three skills-based residency pathways:

Residency Pathway: Skilled Migrant Resident

The Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa (SMC) has been developed to help stimulate economic growth in New Zealand. It does by offering people from other countries who have skills and qualifications in certain occupations, the opportunity to work and become a resident in New Zealand. Applicants are required to send an Expression of Interest to Immigration New Zealand, where you demonstrate how you meet the eligibility criteria which is a “points-based” system. The points-based system was recently updated in October 2023.

With this visa you can:

  • Live, work and study in New Zealand.
  • Stay indefinitely.
  • Include your partner and children who are dependent, in your application for residence.

To be eligible for this visa, you must:

  • Possess skills, experience and qualifications for an occupation that is listed on the Australian and New Zealand Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
  • You must be aged 55 years or younger.
  • You must meet the required number of points for Expressions of Interest selection.
residency pathway green list

Residency Pathway: Green List

Workers who possess experience, qualifications and skills in in-demand careers may be eligible for one of two fast tracked pathways that fall under what is known as the Green List in New Zealand.

The Green List is a list of occupations that the New Zealand Government has deemed as being in-demand in New Zealand and crucial to the growth of New Zealand. The occupations are categorised as Tier 1 or Tier 2 Green List Occupations.

Tier 1 Green List: Straight to Residence Pathway

If you meet the criteria of a Tier 1 Green List occupation, including securing a job offer from an Accredited Employer in New Zealand, you may be eligible to apply for residency in New Zealand.

With this visa you can live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely and include your partner and dependent children in your visa application.

Tier 2 Green List: Work to Residence Pathway

If you meet the criteria of a Tier 2 occupation on the Green List, including having at least 2 years of experience working in this role in New Zealand, and you have a job offer or are already working for an Accredited Employer of New Zealand, you may be able to apply for residency in New Zealand.

With this visa you can live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely and include your partner and dependent children in your application.

Residency Pathway: Work to Residence

Workers in certain sectors and who meet certain criteria may be able to apply for residency in New Zealand after working in New Zealand for a designated period of time.

There are three options via this pathway and they are:

Each of these residence visa pathways have unique criteria that must be met, with the common criteria of the applicant having had at least 24 months of work experience in a job related to the residence visa they are applying for. For more information, click on the residence visa types above.

Immigration chambers team

How Immigration Chambers Can Help

Immigration law can be complex and overwhelming, but here at Immigration Chambers, we’re here to make understanding your options and securing the right New Zealand visa for you a lot easier.

Our team of immigration specialists include accredited immigration lawyers and licensed immigration advisers who are not only vastly experienced in all manner of immigration law matters but are also well versed in the latest immigration laws and restrictions for New Zealand.

When you’re looking to come to New Zealand on a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, we can help you by ensuring you do have the right qualifications and skills that allow you to submit and EOI, we can also help to ensure that you have provided all of the right information and avoid making costly mistakes.

We can also help to ensure that this is the right visa option for you. There are lots of different options that makes immigrating to New Zealand possible, so we will listen to you to understand your situation – making sure you achieve the right visa for you.

Why Choose IC Legal for New Zealand Immigration matters?

Here’s why people choose IC Legal for assistance with immigration and visas for New Zealand:

An easier process - New Zealand

We make the process easier

Immigration and visa matters are often complex but we’re here to take the stress and confusion out of the process and ensure that you have the right information for your situation.

Expert Advice - New Zealand

Expert Advice

Our team is made up of qualified immigration experts – both immigration lawyers and immigration advisers. Our knowledge is up-to-date and accurate.

Exceptional Results - New Zealand

Exceptional results

We pride ourselves on being able to advise businesses and individuals on all aspects of immigration law and ensure that our advice leads to successful outcomes.

Clear Communication - New Zealand

Clear communication

We will always keep you up to date with the latest news and any changes to policies and laws that could impact your visa application.

Frequently Asked Questions


Contact us today for an initial enquiry

We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.

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    Feedback From Our Clients

    To be effective in this age of globalisation your business needs expertise to ensure your employees get the right visa as quickly as possible. We offer a full range of services.

    “I would highly recommend Immigration Chambers for its quality service and reasonable fees. I found Shiv and David very cooperative and Proactive. I am very happy with the results I have received for my partnership Visa. The whole process was stress free and very smooth. I wish all the best for the whole team 👍🏻.”
    Tenji Dolma
    Tenji Dolma
    I highly recommend the Immigration Chamber for the quality of their work!! Thanks to Valerie I got my student visa in record time. Her availability, her follow-up and her dedication have made a real difference for me. If I have one more thing to tell you all is that if you have any kinds of request regarding immigration, do not hesitate and contact them!!
    Guillaume Mallet
    Guillaume Mallet
    “I am very grateful to the Immigration Chambers for their help with my difficult case, they did everything professionally, on time and we are happy with the result. Will recommend for sure !)”
    Angelika Sigaenko
    Angelika Sigaenko
    “I highly recommend David and his team. My partner got visa after 2 year waiting. We received PPI, IC helped us solve it. They are very professional and friendly. Excellent service.”
    Sammanuel Nguyen
    Sammanuel Nguyen
    “Our residency has finally been approved recently and it’s a big relief after 26 months waiting in uncertianty. Thanks for the very honest and professional services from Immigration Chambers, especially Wilson, my main contact. He was very caring and guided us through this difficult journey. Really appreciated!”
    Jane Guo
    Jane Guo