Why the Silver Fern Visa is the best pathway today


Due to the recent changes to the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), the Silver Fern Visa is perhaps the quickest pathway to enter New Zealand and gain a visa to allow you to legally look for a job, provided you have the skills that the country wants.

This visa targets the 28-35 age group, which I believe is the perfect time to hit the “reset” button to one’s career. If you come too early, you might not have the necessary skillset and experience. If you come too late, then the opportunity for you to pivot and adapt to a different career or industry historically lessens as you approach middle age.

The average processing time of this visa is around 25 days, wherein you will provide evidence of your health, character, qualifications and work experience. This is relatively fast compared to the conventional path of the SMC which has around a one year wait before you could even set foot to the country.

Once you are issued with a Silver Fern Visa, you are now given 9 months to look for the skilled job that matches your experience and qualifications. If all the stars align and you get a job offer, you can eventually lodge your residence onshore, which again will be easier and faster than doing it offshore. The new threshold of 160 points is already unreachable for most people, at least with a Silver Fern you are inside the country, be able to earn NZ dollars and can begin to explore your options. Some Filipinos go through the long and complicated process of SMC only to find out once they are here, they cannot find a job in their profession.

For me, the advantage of going through this process is you get to enter the country relatively quickly, throw your hat in the ring and be able to gauge yourself against the New Zealand job market without spending a lot of money. (Read related: The truth about student visas) This is also different from the working holiday visa as you are not limited to only 3 months work.

I would say once you hit the 6th month of your visa, you will already be able to tell if New Zealand is really for you and your family. You will be exposed to the climate, housing, and culture to the level that ordinary tourists wouldn’t. What some smart Filipinos do is to file a long leave with their existing company in the Philippines (if you can) to mitigate the risks of failing to land a skilled job. Sabi nila, at least may Plan B at babalikan ka pa.

In the end, there is no point staying in a country if you cannot gain long-term employment that will pay for your needs and wants, so the Silver Fern is just the perfect avenue to put yourself in that position. If you return to the Philippines after your trip, you can treat it as a reconnaissance mission and possibly try again later using a different pathway. But it is not a losing cause – you gain more knowledge about the country because there are some stuff you will only find out once you are physically here instead of only reading about it on the internet.

Interested? Make sure you apply using fast broadband internet as visa applications open online on November 3 at 5am Manila Time (10am NZ Time). Have your Visa/Mastercard credit/debit card ready for around a P10,140 peso swipe (subject to change). The 300 slots are filled within seconds.

Addendum: For restricted occupations like nurses, you need to secure New Zealand registration first BEFORE applying for this visa.


13 thoughts on “Why the Silver Fern Visa is the best pathway today

  1. Hi, did you have to submit an IELTS test result? Or did they give you an option to provide document/s that will show your English proficiency be acceptable? Thanks.


  2. Hi, correct me if im wrong, bago ka ba maapprove for silver fern eh kylangan pasok ka dun sa lists of skilled jobs nila? So kung hindi ka makakita ng skilled job after 9 months eh balik pinas ka? Thanks


    1. Yes tama ka. The very essence of New Zealand immigration policy is letting skilled people come in so you can help the economy. Simply put, if you don’t have the skills then they don’t want you.


  3. Hello,

    So need ko bang pasado na sa IELTS before applying or pwede after nalang ako kumuha?

    Another question is acceptable bang n nalang ilagay ko sa form instead of ñ? Kinda worried na mawala yung chance ko if magreset yung portal due to invalid symbol.

    It would be a big help din if you could provide to us the things indicated in the form so copy paste nalang kami.

    Thank you!


      1. Thanks for the information. May I know if I need to submit any documents during the application or right after nalang yun if ever makakuha ako ng slot?

        I’ve also seen na may Expression of Interest. Do i need to submit it the exact day of the Silver Fern opening/ application? TIA


  4. Hi. I would like to ask clarification on the requirements for the Silver Fern Visa, should I hold both a recognised bachelor’s degree or higher qualification AND a recognised trade qualification with a minimum of two years of work experience in that trade? Or is a recognised bachelor’s degree enough? Thank you.


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