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The minimum IELTS score to get New Zealand PR and work there

New Zealand has always been a choice destination for students and working professionals looking to pursue their educational and career goals there. 

Thanks to its beautiful natural beauty, rich heritage and home to renowned universities, the demand for getting PR and establishing a life in New Zealand is high.

In order to qualify for a New Zealand work and PR visa, you will need to prove your English language proficiency as part of your application.

Thankfully, you can do this with the IELTS test!

Read on to learn more about the IELTS score requirements that you need to attain.

Getting A PR In New Zealand

While getting a PR might be your end goal, you’ll need to have spent at least 2 years living in New Zealand before you can be considered.

However, there are multiple paths you can take that you can work towards permanent residency.

The first is the academic path that allows you to progress towards a post-study work visa where you can then stay in New Zealand for up to 3 years.

The second route will be through the various work categories such as the skilled migrant and business categories.

To Study In New Zealand

In order to study in New Zealand, you’ll have to obtain a student fee-paying visa, you’ll have to submit proof of an offer or confirmation of enrolment from an approved institution.

This means attaining an overall IELTS academic band score of minimum 5.5, but a score of 6.0 is recommended for entry to the majority of New Zealand’s universities and courses.

To Work & Live In New Zealand

Post-Graduate Study Visa

If you graduated from an approved New Zealand institution, you’ll be able to apply for a post-study work visa that allows you to stay in New Zealand for 1, 2 or 3 years.

This gives you time and flexibility to work in almost any job and for any employer in New Zealand and start working your way up to the 2-year mark for PR application.

Skilled Migrant Category

Under the skilled migrant category, you’ll be able to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely and work your way up to permanent residency.

As part of your application, you’ll need to attain an overall IELTS score of 6.5 from either the General or Academic test.

Business Categories

Depending on your business application type, you will have to attain different IELTS scores when you apply under these categories.
-    Employee of a Relocating Business: You’ll need to attain an academic or general test IELTS score of 4.0 or more.
-    Entrepreneur Residence or Entrepreneur Work Visa: You’ll need to obtain an academic or general test IELTS score of 4.0 or more.
-    Investor: You’ll require an overall IELTS score of 3.0 or more in the academic or general test.

Residence From Work

Once you have been working in New Zealand for two years, you can apply for residence status under this Residence From Work category.

In order to do so, you will need to meet health and character requirements as well as obtain an IELTS overall score of 5.0 or more in either the general or academic test.

The Residence From Work visa is equivalent to a PR and allows you to:
-    Live in New Zealand as a resident for as long as you like
-    Leave and return to New Zealand whenever and as often as you want
-    Access most publicly funded services

Parent Resident Visa

If you are a parent of a resident child or New Zealand citizen who earns enough and agrees to sponsor you, you are able to live in New Zealand permanently as well.

You will still need to take the IELTS general or academic test and attain an overall band score of 5.0 and above as well as score 4.0 or more in at least 2 of the 4 skills (Listening, reading, writing and speaking)

Embark On Your Journey To Obtaining PR In New Zealand

If living and working in beautiful New Zealand has been on your mind, it’s time to take action!

At IDP, we have the tools to help you better prepare for your IELTS test so that you can score better and secure work and PR visas in New Zealand.

Should you have any further questions about the IELTS test, our team of education counsellors will be happy to answer them either in person or virtually.

Ready to start?

Book your test with us today!

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