New Zealand utilises a points based system in the processing of Skilled Migrant visas. Potential migrants are awarded points for things such as age (the younger the more points), work experience (the more skilled work experience the better), expertise or qualifications in skills shortage disciplines and qualifications gained in New Zealand (the higher the qualification the more points).

Having a New Zealand qualification and a job offer after graduation gives individuals a big advantage when making a Skilled migrant visa application, as often potential migrants fall short of the required points to be considered in this category, without the points given to NZ qualifications and employment.

If you are deciding to study in New Zealand, you might like to leave open the option of applying for an open work visa at the end of studies, followed by an application for residency under the Skilled Migrant category. In this case it can be worthwhile to apply for qualifications which are in demand in New Zealand and / or on one of the Skills Shortage lists. Completion of such qualifications will give you a better chance of successfully finding skilled employment after graduation and more points towards a residency application.

Work experience and qualifications giving points to residency fall across a number of fields from cookery to communications to engineering to trades to construction to nursing to IT and many more.

You can find the full lists for Long Term Skills Shortage List and Immediate Skills Shortage List as well as Canterbury shortage list here:

If you would like to apply to study in New Zealand we can assist you with this, and when it is time to consider making an application for either an Open Work Visa (post study) and/or a Skilled Migrant visa, we are here to assist with your Immigration application also, in order to give you the best chance of reaching your goals.