Australia and New Zealand are two main destinations for people thinking about immigrating to a new country. Both are great countries, especially for immigrants, but to make it easier for you we have compared them side by side to help you choose a path for your new life. A major factor in choosing where to immigrate, is the immigration system itself! We’ve therefore compared the Australian Skilled visa system with the New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category.

Skilled Worker Programs – Overview

Here we are going to compare two popular immigration programs: Australia’s Skilled Independent program (subclass 189) and New Zealand’s Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.

Both of these programs aim to attract high caliber applicants with skilled work experience, your education, English language ability and many more.

Neither of the programs require applicants to have a job offer or family or state sponsor to submit an EOI however in most cases to be eligible for New Zealand’s Skilled visa you would need the job offer points.

These two immigration programs may be ideal for highly qualified skilled workers from any country, regardless of having a family or employer to sponsor them on these visas.

In both of the above visa programs you achieve permanent resident status. Permanent resident status allows you to stay in these countries indefinitely with a pathway to citizenship.

Both of these skilled migration programs are points-based systems to determine their eligibility and to select applicants.


A major difference in the Australian 189 visa to the New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category is that to apply for the 189 visa you must have a positive skills assessment from a skills assessing authority to demonstrate your degree is comparable to an Australian degree and can potentially start practicing in Australia. In New Zealand, your qualification must be recognised by either being:

  • on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment or;
  • assessed by a New Zealand registration authority at the same level as a qualification on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment as part of an application for New Zealand occupational registration.

Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program requires applicants to have at least 1 year of full-time, skilled work experience. Similar to Australia, Canada defines skilled work experience as any job at National Occupational Classification(NOC) Skill Level 0, A, or B.

Another difference is the occupations lists for both programs. The Australian occupations list for the skilled independent visa can be seen here.

In Australia, you must be under 45 wheres you can apply for New Zealand if you are 55 or under.

Points System Comparison

Both programs are points based and to determine eligibility of applicants for immigration. They assign points for age, language proficiency, work experience, education, and factors such as study in respective countries, regional area (area of skill shortage) work and more. In Australia, you must score a minimum of 65 points to be eligible, while New Zealand’s program requires a minimum of 160 points for an invitation.

Factor Australia New Zealand
  Maximum Points Per Factor
Age 30 30
Language Proficiency 20
Job offer or already working in AU/NZ 0 50
Absolute skills shortage area work/outside Auckland/High income   30
Overseas Work Experience 15 50
Onshore Work Experience 20 10
Qualifications (Education) 20 70
Other Factors (study requirements, regional study, professional year, community language, partner skills) 20 40
Passing Score 65 160

If you meet the minimum point’s requirement, you are eligible to submit your interest in the program. However, for both Australia and New Zealand (100 points) simply meeting the minimum points requirement does not guarantee that you will be invited to apply and immigrate to these countries. In other words the pool mark for all General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa are 65 for Australia and 100 for New Zealand but the competitive nature of these visas, a pool mark does not guarantee an invitation to apply. New Zealand is currently inviting candidates with 160 or over points.

Looking for further assistance on skill select invitations works? Book a consultation today with our experts or drop your queries at Bansal Immigration Consultant.

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