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Migration to New Zealand - General Skills Category

What Can I Score Points For?

Principal applicants under the General Skills category are assessed by a points based system.

If you have a points score of 23 or less, your application will be declined. If you have a points score of 24 or more, your application will only be approved if your points score is equal to or greater than the passmark applicable to the week your application is lodged.

The passmark is currently set by the Minister of Immigration at 24 points. If you wish to view the record of previous General Skills category passmarks, please click here.

You may score points for a number of factors such as your qualifications, work experience and age. You must score at least 10 points for qualifications and at least 1 point for work experience unless you are exempt from this requirement.

As you read through the following factors, you can self-assess your eligibility to apply under General Skills category by entering estimated points.

In addition, you and any family included in your application must meet health, character, and English language requirements.

Note: If your points score is within 5 points of the passmark at the time your application is made, you may apply for a work visa or permit to enable you to seek employment in New Zealand if you have:

  • not already claimed points for an offer of employment; and
  • met the health, character, and English language requirements.

Employability Factors

Qualifications

You are awarded points for qualifications that the NZIS accepts as occupying a category and level on the Qualifications Table for which points may be awarded.

The category and level of the Qualifications Table that a qualification or group of qualifications occupies is established by reference to:

If your qualification(s) is not included on the List of Recognised Qualifications, a NZQA assessment of your qualification(s) is required.

If a NZQA Assessment Report is required, you may submit either:

  • an Interim Assessment Report; or
  • a Qualifications Assessment Report.

However, if you have provided an Interim Assessment Report to the NZIS, you must also submit the Qualifications Assessment Report, which NZQA will provide upon completion of their verification requirements for your qualification(s).

If you have obtained registration by a New Zealand organisation authorised by law to give occupational registration, points may be awarded for your qualification(s). This is provided the registration involves an assessment of comparability of your overseas qualification(s) to a New Zealand qualification on the List of Recognised Qualifications.

If you are claiming points for your qualification(s) on the basis of registration, you will need to provide your certificate of registration.

Note: From 1 July 2001 onwards, if you need to provide a NZQA Assessment Report or a certificate of registration in order to claim points for your qualification(s), these documents must be included with your application in order to meet lodgement requirements for an application under the General Skills category.

If you are claiming points for a qualification required for employment in one of the occupations listed below, you must:

  • gain full or provisional registration (whichever is required to practise in New Zealand); or
  • have an offer of employment (for which points may be awarded) in an occupation that does not require registration, and the occupation is assessed as relevant to the qualification for which points are claimed; or
  • be eligible to claim points for post-qualification work experience in an occupation for which registration is not required in New Zealand, and have been employed in that occupation for the same or greater period of time than in an occupation for which registration is required by law in New Zealand.

Note: For teachers, provisional registration includes both "provisional" and "subject to confirmation" registration. For medical practitioners, "probationary" registration is considered to be "provisional" registration.

The occupations which require registration by law in New Zealand are:

Architect

Medical laboratory technologist

Barrister or solicitor

Medical practitioner

Chiropractor

Medical radiation technologist

Clinical dental technician

Nurses and midwives

Dental technician

Occupational therapist

Dentist

Optometrist

Physiotherapist

Pharmacist

Dietician

Plumber, gas-fitter and drain-layer

Dispensing optician

Podiatrist

Electrician

Psychologist*

Electrical service technician

Real estate agent

Enrolled nurse

Surveyor

Line mechanic

Teacher

 

Veterinarian

 

* This applies only if the principal applicant is claiming points for an offer of employment in the state services or in an institution licensed under the Mental Health Act 1992

Click here for contact details of the registration bodies.

You may score points for your qualification(s) based on the Qualifications Table below. You must score a minimum of 10 points for qualifications, unless you are one of the exceptions. A maximum of 12 points for qualifications may be scored.

The Qualifications Table is aligned to the New Zealand National Qualifications Framework (NQF) which is a system administered by the NZQA for organising and understanding the relationships between a wide range of New Zealand qualifications.

A qualification (or group of qualifications) which is assessed as occupying a category and level on the Qualifications Table for which no points may be awarded, will not be awarded points.

Qualifications Table

Level

Categories

 

A

B

C

D

8

12 points

11 points

-

-

7

11 points

10 points

11 points

-

6

0 points

0 points

10 points

-

5

0 points

0 points

10 points

11 points

4

0 points

0 points

0 points

10 points

3

0 points

0 points

0 points

10 points

2

0 points

0 points

0 points

0 points

1

0 points

0 points

0 points

0 points

Exceptions to Qualifications

Professional Sports Coaches and Ministers of Religion

If you are a professional sports coach or a minister of religion, and do not hold qualifications of the standard required by the General Skills category policy, you may be awarded 10 points if you have:

  • a minimum of 3 years' full-time work experience in your chosen field, outside New Zealand, with a credible organisation (the experience must not be counted towards points for work experience); and
  • relevant qualifications, relevant occupational training, or a combination of relevant qualifications and relevant occupational training of a minimum of 12 months duration; and
  • an offer of employment from a sporting or religious organisation in New Zealand affiliated to a national organisation; and
  • a written letter of support from the relevant national organisation in New Zealand.

If you are a professional sports coach, you can only be considered under this provision if you have:

  • held a permit to work as a professional sports coach in New Zealand; and
  • completed 3 years' full-time coaching at a regional or national level in New Zealand during the 3 years immediately before the application for residence in lodged.

If you are a minister of religion, you can only be considered under this provision if you:

  • are a member of a religion or denomination recognised for the purposes of work visa or work permit policy; and
  • have held a permit to work as a full-time minister in New Zealand for the 3 years immediately before the application for residence in lodged.
Information Technology (IT) Specialists

If you are a IT specialist, and do not hold qualifications of the standard required by the General Skills category policy, you may be awarded 10 points if you:

  • have a minimum of 3 years' full-time work experience in your field of specialisation (this experience must not be counted towards points for work experience); and
  • can provide evidence of some formal training in your area of specialisation; and
  • hold a letter of support issued by the Information Technology Association of New Zealand (ITANZ), confirming that your skills are in short supply in New Zealand; and
  • hold an offer of employment in that particular field of specialisation.

If you apply under these provisions, you must still meet all other requirements of the General Skills category and obtain sufficient points to meet the passmark applying at the time your application is made.

New Zealand Qualifications

You may score an additional 2 points if you have completed a qualification in New Zealand for which you have been, or could have been, awarded qualifications points. However, these additional 2 points are not available if you received New Zealand Overseas Development Assistance (NZODA) scholarship assistance to complete the New Zealand qualification.

A New Zealand qualification is defined as a qualification:

  • conferred by a New Zealand institution; and
  • where at least half the course requirements are undertaken by the applicant in New Zealand.

New Zealand Qualification

2 points

Work Experience

You must score at least 1 point for work experience, unless you hold a General Skills recognised New Zealand qualification, which you gained without NZODA assistance. You may score up to a maximum of 10 points for work experience.

Points are allocated on the basis of work experience for 30 hours or more per week. Work experience for less than 30 hours per week may be awarded points on a pro rata basis. One point is allocated for every 2 complete years of work experience.

If no points are awarded for an offer of employment, then only work experience relevant to your qualification for which points have been awarded will count for points. If you do receive points for a job offer, your work experience need not be relevant to your qualifications.

Your work experience is not acceptable and cannot count for points if it was:

  • an integral part or course requirement of your qualification for which points are awarded; or
  • gained before the age of 20, unless it was gained after your qualification for which points are awarded; or
  • gained during compulsory military or community service, unless it was gained after the age of 20 and is relevant to your qualification for which points are awarded; or
  • of such a low standard that it led to your dismissal; or
  • gained while working unlawfully.

Work Experience (years)

Points

2 years

1

4 years

2

6 years

3

8 years

4

10 years

5

12 years

6

14 years

7

16 years

8

18 years

9

20 years

10

Offer of Employment

You may score 5 points if you have an offer of employment in New Zealand.

Your offer of employment must be:

  • for ongoing employment by a single employer; or
  • for one or more contracts totalling at least 6 months, if you have obtained points for work experience for at least 2 years of contract work or would be eligible to be awarded points for such work experience but did not claim them; and
  • for full-time employment; and
  • current at the time of your application; and
  • genuine.

Positions of self-employment, or payment by commission and/or retainer are not acceptable. You must obtain full registration if this is required by law to take up the offer of employment.

If you are claiming points for a qualification in an occupation for which registration is required by law in New Zealand, but have not obtained occupational registration, you must provide an offer of employment in an occupation that:

  • does not require registration; and
  • is assessed as relevant to your qualification for which points are claimed.

Your offer of employment is considered to be relevant to your qualification if your:

  • qualification is an important factor in being able to obtain, continue or advance in the job offered to you; or
  • offer of employment is part of a career path which has advanced progressively from your qualification for which points have been awarded.

Points are scored as follows:

Offer of Employment

5 points

Age

You may score points for your age based on the table below.

If you are 56 years or over, your application under the General Skills category cannot be approved.

If you turn 25 years of age while your application is being processed, your points for age can be increased.

Age (years)

Points

18 - 24

8

25 - 29

10

30 - 34

8

35 - 39

6

40 - 44

4

45 - 49

2

50 - 55

0

Settlement Factors

You may score a maximum total of 7 points for settlement factors. Settlement factors are:

Settlement Funds

You may score a maximum of 2 points for settlement funds (for example; cash, shares, stocks and any other assets). These funds must be transferred to New Zealand within 6 months from the date the application is approved in principle, before residence will be granted. These funds must be free of debt.

Points are awarded if the funds are owned wholly by you or your spouse or partner included in the application, or owned jointly by you and your spouse or partner or any dependent child included in your application.

Settlement Funds (NZ$)

Points

NZ$100,000

1

NZ$200,000

2

New Zealand Work Experience

You may score a maximum of 2 points for work experience gained lawfully in New Zealand.

You can score points for New Zealand work experience under both this section and the Work Experience section.

Points are awarded on the basis of work experience for 30 hours or more per week. Work experience for less than 30 hours per week may be awarded points on a pro rata basis. If no points are awarded for an offer of employment, this work experience must be relevant to your qualification.

One point is awarded for each complete year of work experience in New Zealand.

New Zealand Work Experience (years)

Points

1 year

1

2 years

2

Spouse Or Partner's Qualifications

You may score a maximum of 2 points for your spouse or partner's fully completed qualification(s) that the NZIS accepts as occupying a category and level on the Qualifications Table for which points may be awarded.

The category and level of the Qualifications Table that a qualification or group of qualifications occupies is established by reference to:

If your spouse or partner's qualification(s) is not included on the List of Recognised Qualifications, a NZQA assessment of your spouse or partner's qualification(s) will be required.

If a NZQA Assessment Report is required, you may submit either:

  • an Interim Assessment Report; or
  • a Qualifications Assessment Report.

However, if an Interim Assessment Report has been provided to the NZIS, you must also submit your spouse or partner's Qualifications Assessment Report, which NZQA will provide upon completion of their verification requirements for your spouse or partner's qualification(s).

If your spouse or partner has obtained registration by a New Zealand organisation authorised by law to give occupational registration, points may be awarded for their qualification(s). This is provided the registration involves an assessment of comparability of overseas qualification(s) to a New Zealand qualification on the List of Recognised Qualifications.

If you are claiming points for your spouse or partner's qualification(s) on the basis of registration, you will need to provide their certificate of registration.

Category and Level on the Qualifications Table

Points

Category B Level 7
Category C Level 5 or 6
Category D Level 3 or 4

1

Category A Level 7 or 8
Category B Level 8
Category C Level 7
Category D Level 5

2

Family Sponsorship

You may score 3 points for family sponsorship. Your family sponsor must be:

  • 17 years of age or over; and
  • a New Zealand citizen or resident; and
  • lawfully and permanently in New Zealand for at least three years prior to endorsement of the sponsorship form; and
  • a parent, brother, sister, or child, of you or your spouse or partner included in the application.

Your family sponsor is responsible for:

  • ensuring that adequate accommodation in New Zealand is and continues to be available to you; and
  • if necessary, providing accommodation during the first 24 months of your residence in New Zealand; and
  • if necessary, providing financial support during the first 24 months of your residence in New Zealand.

Family sponsors must complete the NZIS "Sponsorship Form for Residence in New Zealand" and present it to an NZIS branch in New Zealand to have it endorsed.

Family sponsorship

3 points

 

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Автор и руководитель проекта: Вадим Лисовец
Разработка и дизайн: S.M.