Updated: Apr 11, 2019
If you have skills that the Government want, and you wish to stay in New Zealand permanently, then this visa type allows migrants to become New Zealand residents. SMC visa applicants need to have a certain number of "points", which makes this visa category unlike any others. Points are awarded for age, education, work history, job offers, English language ability and other factors that tend to demonstrate "employability".
There is a points calculator available - https://tinyurl.com/y8ssbz9h - which gives applicants a basic outline of how likely they would be to succeed. They first need to submit an Expression of Interest which is entered into a pool of other similar candidates.
Frequently, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will select candidates from that pool, and invite them to apply for residency under the Skilled Migrant Category. The minimum amount of points to enter the pool is 100, which is easy to obtain, but in practice INZ will only select candidates with 160 points or more.
Depending on your work, education, and whether you have a job offer in New Zealand or not, you may find this the easiest path to residency. An applicant working as a farmer or builder, with with a few years of experience for example, would likely score above 160 points. If your work is classified as low-skilled under current Immigration Policy, then in order for it to be classified as "skilled", you should be earning more than a person in a higher-skilled job would.
Feel free to get in touch if you would like a free assessment of your chances of obtaining a Skilled Migrant visa at firstname.lastname@example.org
The information provided here is of a general nature only, and is not intended to amount to legal or immigration advice.