Skilled migrant category

The main visa product to attract skilled talent to New Zealand is the Skilled Migrant Category. We are experts on this Category, and deal with anything from straight forward cases, to exceptionally complicated matters.

Our service proposition – we will tailor our service to what you need, not what you don’t need

We have acted for thousands of clients all over the world to guide and manage them through the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) process. A lot of our testimonials are from our SMC clients who have taken the time to comment on the service we provided to them, many of them shifting from one side of the world to the other.
We have a well oiled machine to assist with whatever your needs are. We have been there, done that, although we do not dictate what pathway to follow to our clients, we can only provide you with the benefit of our knowledge to allow you to select a pathway that fits with what feels comfortable for you, and we will tailor our service to what you really need to support that course of action.

Generally speaking there are three main service options we provide. We provide a full service option for applicants offshore, and onshore, and a limited service option for those who feel comfortable in proceeding but would only like our guidance at certain key times during the process, because they wish to reduce spend or are comfortable with dealing with the process themselves, but would appreciate some guidance and back up at key touch points through the process.

We outline line each of those service options below.


Skilled Migrant Category service options | Skilled Migrant Category process flowchart | Invitation to apply for New Zealand residence


Skilled Migrant Category service options

We provide a brief summary of our service options below. The below points are indicative only, and the actual service to be provided will change depending on the stage, circumstances, and individual needs of our client.

1. Offshore – Full Service (the bells and whistles) 

This service includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Technical eligibility and settlement assessment while offshore. Will you potentially qualify, and are you ready to come in, and what way will work for you.
  2. Ability to secure skilled employment.
    Engaging with one of our trusted recruiters to obtain a reliable employability opinion (if required) prior to travel to New Zealand.
  3. Guidance to ensure visitor visa eligibility.
    Making sure you initially come to New Zealand in a complaint way so you are not refused entry on arrival.
  4. Making appropriate referrals to trusted professional service providers.
    We will introduce you to reputable banks, recruitment advisers, relocation specialists, pet transporters and so on. We do not accept commissions for such referrals. We only expect these providers to look after you. There are a few sharks that circle the emigration pond, we know who they are.
  5. Assisting in the negotiation with the terms and conditions of your proposed employment.
    We will make sure the employment is complaint with the visas you are looking to secure.
  6. Applying for and obtaining long term work and associated partner/dependant child visas.
    These are the visas to allow you to commence employment, and get settled in New Zealand.
  7. Apply for and obtaining New Zealand residence under the SMC.  We do everything from preparing and submitting your Expression of Interest (EOI), preparing and submitting your formal residence application, to liaising with Immigration directly at all stages without your direct involvement to conclusion of the visa process.

The above is an indicative summary only. There is much more to the process, and we would be happy to expand upon these points when discussing your proposed instructions.

2. Onshore – Full Service

This service includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Technical eligibility.  Will you potentially qualify, and what way will work for you.
  2. Assisting in the negotiation or renegotiation of the terms and conditions of your current or proposed employment.
    We will make sure the employment is complaint with the visas you are looking to secure.
  3. Applying for and obtaining long term work and associated partner/dependant child visas (if necessary).
  4. Apply for and obtaining New Zealand residence under the SMC.
    We do everything from preparing and submitting your EOI, preparing and submitting your formal residence application, to liaising with Immigration directly at all stages without your direct involvement to conclusion of the visa process.

The above is an indicative summary only, and does vary significantly for case to case. For example, some onshore applicants may chose to file and process their own work visa applications, but would just like us to manage the residency side. Our fees are adjusted accordingly.

3. Offshore/Onshore – Limited Service (SMC Only)

This service is limited to:

  1. Technical eligibility and settlement assessment while offshore/onshore. Will you potentially qualify, and are you ready to come in, and what way will work for you.
  2. Review of Expression of Interest (EOI) once completed and ready for submission
  3. Advice (in writing) regarding recommended form/content changes to EOI
  4. Following receipt of Invitation to Apply providing a checklist of the standard documents required for the application
  5. Review of application documents (once all complete)
  6. Advice (in writing) regarding recommended form/content changes to documents prior to submission of application
  7. Ad hoc general correspondence to address basic queries during service (limited to maximum 1 hour total time attendance)

This is a popular service option for those who do not require detailed guidance or assistance, but would appreciate having us to rely on and fall back on where required at select points during the residency process. This process is completely applicant driven (e.g. the applicant deals with Immigration New Zealand directly) and we assist and guide behind the scenes in a limited capacity as per the above scope of service.


Skilled Migrant Category process flowchart

In order to provide a convenient summary of the full SMC process, we have formulated a flow chart that includes our initial eligibility assessment, and from there, the process map of how an applicant works there way through to resident visa approval.

This flow chart has been formulated to assist you to start to understand some of the technical points that lie behind the visa process, as it is far more complicated than most appreciate.

To further complicate matters, the New Zealand Government has also restricted the pass mark for automatic selection from the EOI Pool to applicants who are able to score 160 points or more (only) until 2018. This does not mean however those applicants that cannot score 160 will not be selected. Dependant on volumes, until the restriction are lifted in 2018 EOI claiming less than 160 points will be selected from time to time. The process flowchart is still therefore relevant to applicants who are not able to score 160 points, but are close.

Skilled Migrant Application Process


Invitation to apply for New Zealand residence

Get us to assess you – start the process

The information contained in this website, and also the Immigration New Zealand website, will lead you to the logical conclusion that there is far more to submitting an SMC application than merely filling in a form.
Technical eligibility is one thing, how the process works in practice is a completely different aspect, and there is limited reliable information on that.

There are reasons why firms like us exist, who are processing significant volumes of these SMC applications.
If you would like our firm to undertake an initial free assessment as to whether or not you do have a chance of securing New Zealand residence we would encourage you to complete one of our free online assessment forms.

Immigration Eligibility Assessment

We will respond to you with our initial opinion as to whether or not you potentially qualify for New Zealand residence, if we believe we can assist.

We also refer you to the testimonials on this website from individuals who we have assisted through the immigration process. We have, on many occasions, had to step in and correct many applications from individuals who have instructed a licensed immigration adviser or tried to process their applications themselves, and got out of their depth. It is much more difficult and expensive to repair something after it has been broken. We would much rather work with you at an early stage, than be the ambulance trying to piece everything together at the bottom of the cliff.