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Immigration to New Zealand

Immigration to New Zealand offers various types of visas. Each Visa type with its own eligibility requirements, application process and conditions. It is important to understand what visa route to apply for.

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Immigration to new zealand

Interest in New Zealand immigration is at an all-time high, and it is easy to see why. Known for its friendliness, robust democracy, stunning outdoor beauty, relaxed pace of life, top universities, strong economy, and excellent healthcare system, New Zealand is the number one choice of many prospective migrants. If you are planning to work, study, live or join family members in New Zealand, it is essential that you understand how the immigration system works and the visa options available to you. Like many modern countries, New Zealand offers a wide range of visa types catering for differing circumstances. Reiss Edwards has the experience and in-country contacts to enable you to make a successful immigration application for New Zealand to meet your short and long-term needs and those of your family members.

New Zealand visa applications

There are several immigration pathways available in New Zealand catering for a range of circumstances and needs, including:

  • Visitor visas
  • Study visas
  • Work visas
  • Permanent residence visas
  • Family visas
  • Business visas
  • Investment visas

Each visa type has its own eligibility criteria, the application process, conditions, and documentation requirements. As such, it is essential that applicants choose the correct route for their needs and long-term goals (i.e. permanent residence).

What Types Of Visas Are Available In New Zealand?

The following lists the types of visas that are available in New Zealand:

Tourist And Visitor Visas

Visitor Visa And Nzeta

Whether you need a visitor visa or an NZ electronic travel authority (NZeTA) depends on which country you are from. Nationals of the following waiver countries only require an NZeTA (granted for up to two years):

Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia (citizens only), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (residents with HKSAR or British National–Overseas passports only), Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, South, Kuwait, Latvia (citizens only), Liechtenstein, Lithuania (citizens only), Luxembourg, Macau (only if you have a Macau Special Administrative Region passport), Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal (if you have the right to live permanently in Portugal), Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (if you are a permanent resident), United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) (including USA nationals), Uruguay, and Vatican City.

Nationals not from a visa waiver country will need to apply for a visitor visa online. A visitor visa may be granted for up to nine months and will allow holders to visit friends and family, explore New Zealand, or take part in amateur sports or adventure activities.

Transit Visa

If you are passing through New Zealand as a transit passenger, you will need to apply for a Transit Visa before you travel, unless you are travelling to Australia or are from a visa waiver country or a transit visa waiver country.

Other NZ visitor visas (this list is not exhaustive)

  • Medical Treatment Visitor Visa
  • Tour Escort Visitor Visa
  • Sports Events Visitor Visa
  • Academic Visitor Visa
  • Adoption Pre-citizenship Visitor Visa
  • Adoption Visitor Visa
  • Arts and Music Festival Visitor Visa
  • Dismissed Worker Visitor Visa
  • German Law Student Visitor Visa
  • Occupational Registration Visitor Visa
  • Pitcairn Islander Visitor Visa
  • Refugee Claimant Visitor Visa
  • Short-term Entertainment Act Visitor Visa
  • Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa
  • Super Yachts Visitor Visa
  • Partner of a Student Visitor Visa
  • Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa
  • Partner of Military Visitor Visa
  • Child of Military Visitor Visa
  • Child of a New Zealander Visitor Visa
  • Antarctic Traveller Visitor Visa

Study Visas

Fee-Paying Student Visa

If you are an international student, a fee-paying student visa will allow you to study full-time in New Zealand. Applicants must pay the full cost of their course/s and enrol with an approved education provider.

Exchange Student Programme

This programme is for non-NZ nationals who have been accepted into an approved student exchange scheme. This allows students to study full-time in New Zealand.

Work Visas

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

For those who wish to live in New Zealand permanently and have skills that can contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth. Applicants with skills that are on the NZ shortage list are most likely to receive a skilled migrant resident visa.

Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

For those who are looking for a pathway to live in New Zealand and who have a skill needed by a New Zealand accredited employer. If an accredited employer offers you full-time work, you’ll be able to get a visa to work here. If you continue to work for that employer for two years, you’ll be able to apply to live in New Zealand permanently.

Essential Skills Work Visa

Those who have been offered a full-time job and possess the necessary qualifications and experience to work in that job, you can apply for a temporary visa to work in New Zealand. Your employer must have checked if any New Zealanders were available to do the work before offering you the job.

Specific Purpose Work Visa

For candidates who need to come to New Zealand for a specific purpose or event. To apply, you’ll need to have skills related to your specific purpose or event and be able to define the time you’ll need to complete your specific purpose or event. Examples of people who may be able to apply to include business people on secondments, sports players, professional coaches, and specialist installers or services.

Global Impact Visa

The Global Impact Visa (GIVs) provides individual pioneering entrepreneurs and investors with a three-year visa to create, support, and incubate ventures and models that result in positive global impact from New Zealand. After three years, migrants can qualify for permanent residency.

Working Holiday Visas

This visa is for young citizens of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, and Vietnam who want to work or study while they holiday in New Zealand.

Family Visas

Partner Of A New Zealander Resident Visa

If your partner is a New Zealand citizen or resident, you can apply to join them. Your partner must support your application.

Dependent Child Resident Visa

If you are a New Zealand citizen or resident living in New Zealand, you can apply for your dependent children to move to New Zealand to live with you. If your children are granted residence, they can live in New Zealand permanently.

Parent Retirement Resident Visa

This visa is open to parents with an adult child who is a New Zealand citizen or resident. If successful, parent retirees can live in New Zealand permanently. To apply, applicants need an annual income of NZ $60,000 plus NZ $1 million to invest for four years and another NZ $500,000 to live on.

Business And Investment Visas

Parent Retirement Resident Visa

Parents, who have an adult child who is a New Zealand citizen or resident, can apply to live in New Zealand permanently. To apply, you will need an annual income of NZ $60,000 plus NZ $1 million to invest for four years and another NZ $500,000 to live on.

Investor 2 Resident Visa

Experienced business people who have a minimum of NZD $3 million in available funds or assets can apply for New Zealand residence and include their partner and dependent children in their application too.

Investor 1 Resident Visa

For those with NZ $10 million to invest in New Zealand over a 3-year period, you may be able to come to New Zealand to live.

Entrepreneur Work Visa

This visa is for experienced business people who want to work in their own business in New Zealand. If granted this visa, you can come to New Zealand to buy or set up your own business in an initial 12-month start-up stage, then work in that business for up to three years. If your business is successful, you may be eligible to apply for residence.

Entrepreneur Resident Visa

This visa is for those who have been self-employed in their own business in New Zealand for at least six months or have operated a business for two years on another visa that allows self-employment. If granted this visa, entrepreneur residents can continue living and operating their business in New Zealand on a permanent basis.

Business Visitor Visa

You can come to New Zealand for business reasons for up to three months in any one year.

Global Impact Work Visa

This visa is for innovative entrepreneurs or investors who are selected by the Edmund Hillary Fellowship to create and support innovative ventures in New Zealand.

Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa

If you’re 66 years or older and want to invest in New Zealand, you can apply to stay for up to two years. To apply, you will need an annual income of NZ $60,000 plus NZ $750,000 to invest for two years and another NZ $500,000 to live on.

Apec Business Travel Card

The APEC Business Travel Card provides its cardholders with streamlined travel processes between participating APEC countries. APEC Business Travel cardholders will be granted a visitor visa when they arrive in New Zealand, provided they have clearance from their home economy and New Zealand before they travel.

Why Choose An Immigration Lawyer To Assist With Your New Zealand Visa?

The New Zealand immigration system offers a wide range of visa and PR options. Using the services of an immigration lawyer with expertise in New Zealand immigration law will ensure that from the outset, you are on the best pathway towards achieving your long-term goals. Securing the services of an immigration solicitor will provide you with considerable peace of mind that your matter is in the best possible hands, and you have the very best chance of receiving a positive decision on your application. In addition, because your immigration lawyer will be handling the end-to-end process on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important; your family and your work. Immigration lawyers will:

  • Explain your options properly to help your decision making easy for you
  • Ensure that your application and supporting documents are complete prior to submission (we have a robust quality assurance process to ensure this is always the case). We will often ‘front-load’ applications to ensure that every detail and piece of evidence is needed to satisfy the requirements of the case officer handling your application.
  • Deal with the immigration authorities directly on your behalf.

How We Can Help

Reiss Edwards’ specialist team of immigration solicitors in London has a comprehensive understanding of the processes, procedures, and rules of the global mobility and immigration pathways in each jurisdiction in which we operate. We are ready to help make your immigration easy and swift. For further information, enquiries, and assistance, contact us today on 020 3744 2797 or send us an email at

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