Migration Policy - A Brief Overview

Skilled Migrant
The majority of applications are made under this category. The policy is based on a numerical points system (currently set at 100). Points are allocated for factors such as age, qualifications, skilled work experience (in Western countries or Western based multi-nationals), spouses qualifications, type of job and settlement factors such as: close family member willing to sponsor, existing employment in NZ, qualifications gained in NZ, and a job offer from a New Zealand employer and whether that offer of employment is outside Auckland.

Not every principal applicant must have a tertiary (University/Polytechnic) or trade qualification that is the equivalent of a New Zealand tertiary qualification that meets a minimum standard as set by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)(some trade and tertiary qualifications are given pre-acceptance and do not require NZQA assessment), but points are gained for having one.

The minimum age to lodge an application is 18 years and the maximum 55 years.

All applicants MUST meet a minimum standard of English (IELTS 6.5 average) or were taught in English or have worked in a English-speaking environment for 12 months or more.

Points are allocated in the following areas:

* Overseas qualifications
* New Zealand qualifications
* Work experience Overseas and bonus points for NZ work experience
* Job offer
* Age

* Offer of employment outside Auckland
* Spousal qualifications
* Family sponsorship
* New Zealand work experience (12 months or more)

The Skilled Migrant Category pass mark was 100 points as at June 2005. This figure is reviewed fortnightly. The pass mark allocated to your case is the score on the week you lodge your application. The pass mark is used to adjust the flow of new arrivals (currently set at approximately 43,000 per year), increasing the mark to slow migration and decreasing it to increase levels. The minimum score is 100.

Not all Skilled Migrants need to have an offer of a skilled position that is related to their qualifications in order to achieve the appropriate pass mark and migrants applying from overseas may satisfy the passmark, and will be granted Conditional Permanent Residence and granted an open Work Visa to come to New Zealand to find skilled employment.  Migrants will then be required to find employment for 3 continuous months over the next 2 years to show they are able to become well-settled, and then they will be granted full Permanent Residence.

If the applicant has a job offer at time of application, the offer, if related to qualifications and work experience, is worth 50 points.

Work Visa

It is no longer possible to apply for Permanent Residence under the skilled Migrant category with less than the pass mark.  Experience tells us that we can arange interviews and employment for migrants with certain specific skills.  If you are employed in a skilled job New Zealand you are in a strong position when applying for Permanent Residence. Your Pacific & Global Consultant will advise you on the viability of arranging interviews, offer of employment and a Work Permit in your personal circumstances.


There are 2 Investor categories, Investor,  those with assets of $NZ 2.5m and willing to invest $NZ1.5m into New Zealand for a minimum period of 4yrs and also another Investor 2 where the applicant has assets of $NZ10m and willing to invest in NZ for 3yrs.  Basically the investor categories relate to persons who have accumulated significant assets off-shore, can demonstrate that those assets have been legitimately accumulated either by virtue of their own tax paid business endeavours or, in the case of gifted funds, the person gifting the funds did so. The process involves a significant level of disclosure. Applicants must have an IELTS score averaging


Criteria for approval

You’ll need to provide verifiable evidence that you meet the following criteria:

  Investor Plus Investor
Minimum investment funds NZ$10 million
invested in NZ for
three years
NZ$1.5 million 
invested in NZ for
four years
Business experience No requirement Minimum three years
No requirement 65 or younger
Settlement funds No requirement NZ$1 million
(transfer not required)
Principal applicant's English language ability No requirement - English speaking background, or;
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score 3+, or;
- competent user of English
Family member's English language ability No requirement Same as principal applicant or pre-purchase ESOL tuition.
time in NZ
44 days in NZ in each of the last two years of the three-year investment period. 146 days in NZ in each of the last three years of the four-year investment period.
Health and character All applicants must meet health and character requirements.

Long Term Business Visa/Entrepreneur

this category has closed and will reopen in a new guise in Feb 2014


This category requires you to have a family member who is a Resident or Citizen of New Zealand. The Family Category is limited to; parents, partner or dependant child (under 24 and not working).   Each case should be considered in the light of the specific facts. In some instances a family relationship may offer advantages in other categories. Pacific & Global will provide you with a detailed assessment of how best to make use of your connections.

Paretns may be sponsored provided the New Zealand Resident children meet prescribed minimum income levels or the parents meet minimum asset and/or income levels

Sponsors must have been Permanent Residents in New Zealand for at least 3 years


This category no longer exists and has been replaced by the International/Humanitarian Category which allows those who have family in New Zealand, and who have no other way of legally migrating, to enter a lottery scheme similar to the USA Green Card Lotteries. There are 250 places per year available. This scheme starts in April 2002 and applications may be made between 1/4/2002 - 30/4/2002 by the sponsoring family, and will be repeated at this time each year.

Refugee and Special Status


New Zealand has an annual quota for Refugees, which is set and administered by the New Zealand Government through the United Nations. The current quota is 750, and is only available to people with U.N. Refugee status. We also have a demand driven scheme whereby arrivals at International Terminals may claim Refugee status. 300 places are now available for the family's of former successful refugee claimants. This scheme starts July 1 2002


There is a special quota for Western Samoans, Tongans, Tuvalu and several other Pacific Island nationals.

When overviewed as it is above, immigration policy appears simple and straightforward, however we assure you it is not. It is an often slow, complex, confusing bureaucratic and administrative legal process to negotiate.

The Pacific & Global assessment procedure identifies those with the capacity to succeed and advises those whose applications would result in failure.

A Pacific & Global initial assessment is a free service.