When you work in immigration you come across some questions again and again. That’s why we decided to answer these frequently asked questions in one place that’s easy to reference.
Go ahead – bookmark this page immediately! Then start reading…
Can anyone move to New Zealand?
No, it is not anyone who can move to New Zealand. You have to be eligible for a New Zealand visa in order to be able to immigrate to New Zealand.
Can I apply for a New Zealand work visa without a job?
To apply for a Skilled Migrant visa, you must have ‘an offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand’. For the Essential Skills Work visa, you’ll need a ‘written full-time job offer’.
Of course there are other visas that allow you to work, but these two visas are applied for most by people looking to work in New Zealand.
Often the next question people ask is “But how do I get a job without a visa?” Our advice is to start by finding out if you qualify for a work visa, then afterwards you can job hunt with confidence. It’s almost guaranteed that you’re more likely to get a job offer if an employer knows you do qualify for a visa.
We’ve written extensively about this process here.
Can I immigrate to New Zealand with a criminal record?
All visa applicants to New Zealand must be of good character, not pose a security risk and not threaten New Zealand’s international reputation.
To this end, New Zealand requires you to meet certain character requirements in order to get a visa.
You can’t get a visa if you:
- Have ever been convicted of an offence for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more.
- Have been convicted in the last 10 years of an offence for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or longer.
- Are prohibited from entering New Zealand.
- Have ever been removed, excluded or deported from any country.
To read more about New Zealand’s character requirements, go to Immigration New Zealand’s website.
Can I immigrate to New Zealand as a tiler/nurse/architect/etc?
You should do an immigration assessment to see if you can move to Australia in your occupation.
With that said, there are certain occupations in New Zealand that are in need of overseas talent. These occupations are listed on New Zealand’s skill shortage lists.
Please remember that your occupation appearing on a list is not a guarantee of getting a visa. You’ll still have to meet all the criteria attached to that occupation.
You can read more about working in New Zealand on our site.
What do I need to immigrate to New Zealand?
The most important ‘need’ is meeting the criteria for immigration to New Zealand. The basics criteria relates to age, health, and character. Other requirements range from being in the right occupation to getting enough points in your skills assessment.
The specific visa you qualify for will reveal whatever else you’ll need to immigrate. For example, the documentation to submit.
What are the costs to consider when moving to New Zealand?
There are various costs to consider if you want to immigrate to New Zealand. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Immigration New Zealand fees.
- Immigration advisor fees, if you work with one.
- Flights to get to New Zealand.
- Relocation costs, including your household goods and pets.
- Living costs. Check that your salary will be enough to cover all your needs and wants.
If you like to plan ahead, also consider these costs:
- Housing – compare renting vs buying a home.
- School fees, if you have children.
- Banking costs.
- Buying a car, if you’re not shipping yours.
Where do I find jobs in New Zealand?
New Zealand has many job sites. Some are general while other industry specific. These are some of the most popular job sites:
Workhere and Working in New Zealand specifically caters for migrants, so you might want to start your search there.
What is the first step if I want to immigrate to New Zealand?
The first step is always an eligibility assessment to see if you qualify to live in New Zealand. Not only will the assessment show if you qualify for a visa, it will also detail the next steps to take.
While there are free online assessments available, it’s wise to get a licensed advisor to do your assessment. A licensed advisor is up to date on all regulations and knows which questions to ask.
You can read more here about why we recommend starting with an assessment.
How do I apply for an X visa for New Zealand?
People often want to know how to apply for a specific visa. The truth is that there’s no standard answer. Some people may have to do an English test as part of their application, while others don’t have to. Working with a licensed advisor is the best way to find what you requirements you have to meet.
Can my parents join us in New Zealand?
Yes, your parents are allowed to join you in New Zealand. This is provided your parents meet the requirements to do so. The parent visa options are:
- Parent Retirement Resident visa
- Parent and Grandparent Visitor visa
There is also the Parent Residency visa, but this visa is closed to new application until further notice.
Is it difficult to immigrate to New Zealand?
This is an extremely subjective question. What we can tell is that immigration to New Zealand does involve a lot of work and planning. Just like with immigration to any other country in the world!
But when you work with a licensed immigration advisor, you’ll make the process much easier on yourself. The advisor will guide you throughout the process and provide support every step of the way.
Didn’t see your burning question here?
New Zealand is regularly voted as one of the best countries to live in, for individuals and families alike.
Parents choose New Zealand because of the high quality of education and the lifestyle the country offers their family. Not to mention the fact that New Zealand is one of the world’s safest and most peaceful countries.
When one then has to consider the best places in New Zealand to raise a family, it’s almost impossible to single out specific cities or towns! It really comes down to what your family is looking for.
Big city lights
New Zealand’s three largest cities also happens to be three of the most popular cities with migrant families settling in the country.
Auckland, New Zealand’s most populous city, is in the North Island. It’s a diverse and cosmopolitan city, and Auckland is also New Zealand’s leading economic hub.
When it comes to things to do and see, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Auckland is home to many museums and historic sites, and regularly hosts festivals and sporting events. Auckland is also within travelling distance of magnificent natural attractions such as Rotorua Island, Muriwai beach, and Waitakere Rages Regional Park.
Auckland isn’t short on exceptional schools either. Of New Zealand’s eight best schools, six are located in Auckland! These schools are a mix of girls’, boys’ and co-ed schools:
- St Cuthbert’s College: A private day and boarding schools for girls.
- Macleans College: Co-education state secondary school.
- ACG Parnell College: Independent co-educational school.
- Auckland International College: Independent co-educational secondary school.
- Auckland Grammar School: State secondary school for boys.
- Diocesan School for Girls: Private girls’ school.
When exploring Wellington, you can visit several of New Zealand’s largest and oldest cultural institutions, quench your thirst at one of its many bars, cafes and restaurants, and indulge in the arts and cultural events.
With six of New Zealand’s eight best schools in Auckland, there are only two spots left – and both schools are in Wellington:
- Scots College: Independent Presbyterian boys’ school. The school is however changing over to co-education for years 11 – 13 in 2020.
- Queen Margaret College: Independent girls’ school.
Just like Auckland, Wellington can also boast one of the best universities in New Zealand. The Victoria University of Wellington also continuously performs well in world university rankings.
There is much to see and do in New Zealand’s oldest city. You can admire street art, marvel at state-of-the-art architecture, dine at world-class restaurants, and take in the creative scene.
Some of the highlights of Christchurch are:
- The Avon River that flows through the city.
- The Botanic Gardens.
- Dinner at The Terrace, a Christchurch hotspot.
When it comes to education, Christchurch is home to two of New Zealand’s top universities. The first one is the University of Canterbury, which is one of New Zealand’s oldest universities. The second institution is Lincoln University. This University prides itself on giving students ‘personalised attention’, which is made possible by keeping classes small.
Living at a slower pace
Life in big cities aren’t for everyone. Some of us prefer smaller cities and cities with a more relaxed pace of life.
Known as the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, Queenstown sits on the edges of Lake Wakatipu on South Island. Its lakeside location offers residents the chance to indulge in numerous activities ranging from jet boating to fly fishing and everything in-between! The surrounding mountains are perfect for walkers and hikers as well as photographers eager to capture the area’s beautiful landscapes
Despite all of the adventure activities on offer, Queenstown is described as quaint and relaxed. The city also hosts many cultural events throughout the year and has numerous fine-dining restaurants and cafes.
New Zealand’s 14-most-populous city offers plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. You can explore the Whanganiu River that runs through the city, visit history museums and art galleries, or take a leisurely walk in one of the area’s natural parks and reserves.
Living in Whanganui also means you’re only an hour’s flight from Auckland. It’ll be easy for family and friends to visit!
Here’s something you may not know – Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sun. Rise with the sun to make the most of the city’s beautiful coastline, forested mountain parks, and surfing and fishing opportunities with the kids. Many people do! It’s common to see Gisborne local surf or cycle before work.
You may also want to indulge in the magnificent food and wine the city has to offer. Gisborne is especially known for its chardonnay.
Need more reasons to consider Gisborne? According to the city’s official website, Gisborne ranks ‘high in happiness surveys’. The sunny climate, open skies and welcoming community most likely have a lot to do with this!
You want to be close to all of the best sights and sounds New Zealand has to offer
If you want to experience as much of New Zealand as possible, Hamilton and Rotorua should be at the top of your list.
Hamilton is set on the banks of the Waikato River and only 90 minutes from Auckland. However, the cost of living in Hamilton is much more affordable than in Auckland.
Living in Hamilton which means you’re never too far from somewhere to go or something to see. You’ll find Raglan, New Zealand’s surfing capital, the Hobbiton movie set, and the world-famous Waitomo Caves within driving distance of Hamilton.
Rotorua is a tourist hotspot and an all-year-round destination thanks to its mild climate. It’s never too hold or too cold. Another reason for Rotorua’s popularity is its central location on the North Island. You’ll get to Auckland, Napier, the Coromandel Peninsula, Mt Maunganui, and Mt Ruapehu in just under three hours.
The icing on the cake? The fact that Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most affordable cities to live in.
Want to find out if you and your family are eligible to live in New Zealand?
Finding out if you can call New Zealand ‘home’ is as easy as booking a free initial assessment with us. This assessment is non obligatory and will show any migration pathways open to you and your family.
The New Zealand government has announced a new tourist entry approval process known as the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).
Effective from 1 October 2019, most travelers will need to hold an ETA before entering New Zealand.
Who will have to hold a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority?
All visitors – whether they’re coming for a holiday, to visit friends and relations, or to study for a short time – who are eligible to travel to New Zealand without a visa will need to hold an NZeTA before they board their flight or cruise from 1 October 2019.
While Australian citizens will be exempt, Australian permanent residents will need to hold a NZeTA. New Zealand citizens and holders of valid New Zealand visas, both resident and temporary visas, will continue to be able to enter New Zealand without a NZeTA.
How will I apply for a NZeTA?
Travellers will be able to quickly and easily apply for their NZeTA either online or through Immigration New Zealand’s free app. The cost for online applications will be NZ$12, while applying through the app will only cost NZ$9.
Some travellers will also have to pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy at the same time as applying for their ETA. You can read more about this levy here.
How long will it take to process my NZeTA?
Immigration New Zealand has noted that you should allow up to 72 hours for your NZeTA to be processed, although it could take as little as 10 minutes.
Would I have to apply for an NZeTA each time I travel?
No, you won’t. The NZeTA will be valid for up two years and multiple visits, while the NZeTA for crew members will be valid for five years.
When do applications open?
Applications already opened on the 1st of July 2019.
Go to Immigration New Zealand for more
This information is a summary of all the most important points to know. Also visit Immigration New Zealand’s website for a detailed look at all the requirements.
From 1 July, most international visitors entering New Zealand will be charged a levy of NZD35 that will be invested in sustainable tourism and conservation projects.
The IVL enables visitors to contribute directly to the infrastructure they use and help protect the natural environment they enjoy.
Who will pay the IVL?
Most visitors entering New Zealand on a temporary basis will need to pay the IVL. This includes for a holiday, which include the working holiday scheme, some student visas and some short-term work visas.
How do you know if you should pay the IVL?
To make it easy for visitors, the immigration system will automatically identify whether or not a person should pay the IVL. This happens when the person apply for a visa online or request an NZeTA.
With that said, Immigration New Zealand has said that the following people won’t have to pay the IVL:
- New Zealand citizens and residents (including all resident visas)
- People transiting New Zealand on a transit visa or transit NZeTA
- Australian citizens and permanent residents
- People from the following Pacific Island countries:
- American Samoa
- Cook Islands
- Republic of Marshall Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn Islands
- Solomon Islands
- Diplomatic, military, medical, and humanitarian visas.
- People travelling to Antarctica under the Antarctic Treaty (including people travelling on the Antarctic Traveller Transit Visa).
- Recognised Seasonal Employment workers.
- Business Visitor Visas (including APEC business travel cards).
- Ship and airline crew.
- Most visas for dependents (partners and children) of work and student visa holders.
- Travellers whose visa or NZeTA requirements have been waived by Immigration New Zealand.
When do you pay the IVL?
Visitors will pay the IVL at the same as paying for their visa application or NZeTA.
How will New Zealand spend the IVL?
Immigration New Zealand has said that the IVL will be split between conservation and tourism, with three areas of focus – conservation, infrastructure and systems.
The decision makers on exactly where the funds go will be made up of an advisory group with expertise specific to the aims of the IVL, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the Department of Conservation, and the Ministers of Tourism, Conservation, and Finance.
Here’s how to stay up to date with future immigration changes
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One of the questions our advisers get asked most often is “How does the points system work in New Zealand?”
There’s good reason for this – your points score determine whether or not you’re eligible for a New Zealand visa. This means people want to understand the points system and find out if they score enough points.
To help you also understand the points system, we’re going to cover all the most basic parts today.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What is the New Zealand points system?
The New Zealand points system is a pivotal part of skilled migrant applications. It’s designed to allow the ranking of Expressions of Interest which enables Immigration New Zealand to extend invitations to apply to overseas applicants who have the most to offer to New Zealand.
Points are awarded under five categories:
- Skilled employment.
- Relevant work experience.
- Your partner’s score.
The minimum points required for skilled immigration to New Zealand is 100. If you score less than 100 points, you won’t be able to lodge an Expression of Interest under the skilled migrant category.
How does Immigration New Zealand award points?
As discussed above, Immigration New Zealand award points under five categories. Below we’ll set out the points awarded under each category of the point system plus indicate where bonus points are awarded.
- 30 points: 20-39 years
- 20 points: 40-44 years
- 10 points: 45-49 years
- 5 points: 50-55 years
Please note: If you are older than 55 you will not qualify.
2. Skilled employment
- 50 points: If you have an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand.
- 50 points: If you are currently employed in a skilled occupation in New Zealand.
Skilled employment means employment for which you need specialist, technical or management expertise as well as relevant qualifications and/or work experience to do. It may also be that a minimum pay threshold applies.
Under the Skilled Migrant Category, you can claim points for skilled employment based on a job you’re currently in, or a job offer you have received.
10 points where you are:
- In an occupation in an area of absolute skills shortage, or
- Employed in work in a region outside Auckland
20 points if:
- Your income is more than twice the New Zealand median income.
- Your partner also has a skilled job or job offer.
3. Relevant work experience
- 10 points: 2 years
- 20 points: 4 years
- 30 points: 6 years
- 40 points: 8 years
- 50 points: 10 years
- 10 points: 12 months or more
And if the work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage bonus points as follows
- 10 points: 2 to 5 years
- 15 points: 6 or more years
- 40 points: Recognised level 4-6 qualification (e.g. trade qualification, diploma) or Level 3 qualification on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment.
- 50 points: Recognised level 7 or 8 qualification (e.g. bachelor degree, bachelor degree with honours)
- 70 points: Recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualification (master’s degree, doctorate)
A recognised qualification is one that’s recognised based on:
- An assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority of the level it occupies on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
- The level it occupies on the NZQF as set out in the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’.
- The level it occupies on the NZQF based on the applicant’s occupational registration in New Zealand (if that registration involves an assessment of comparability with a qualification on the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’)
10 points for either:
- Two years full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised NZ bachelor degree.
- One year of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised NZ post-graduate qualification.
- Two years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised post-graduate NZ qualification.
5. Your partner’s score
- 10 points: Your partner holds a level 7-8 qualification.
- 20 points: Your partner holds a recognised post-graduate (level 9-10) qualification.
What does your points score tell you?
Your skilled migrant points score not only acts as an indicator to Immigration New Zealand. Your points score also sets out your migration pathway. It does this by revealing three things:
- If you qualify for a skilled migrant visa.
- If you do not qualify, what other routes you may pursue.
- The processes you must follow with your application.
Please keep in mind though that eligibility for a skilled migrant visa does not solely depend on your points score. In addition to achieving the necessary points, you must also meet certain basic criteria such being in good health and of good character.
A word of warning
You’ll find many free tools online that offer to help you calculate your skilled migrant points score.
Tread carefully though! The New Zealand points system may seem straightforward, but this is not the case.
While an advisor will ask you detailed questions to get the correct information, most online tools won’t. Online tools are often nothing more than a series of yes or no questions. Few have detailed descriptions of requirements or provide guidance on the more intricate parts of the immigration act.
The best way to ensure you get a score that’s 100% correct? By working with a licensed immigration advisor who’ll ensure that you definitely meet the full set of criteria for a New Zealand visa.
Get assistance and get the right score
Intergate Emigration has not one but three licensed immigration advisors to assist you with your visa application from start to finish. This includes explaining how the points system work and calculating your New Zealand points score.
All you have to do to get started is book an initial immigration assessment. Our initial assessment is free and it’ll reveal any migration pathways open to you.
You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have, whether it’s about the New Zealand points system or another part of the immigration process.
There are many ways to compare the quality of life between two or more countries.
The OECD, an international organisation that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, chose to look at factors that directly impact people’s lives on a daily basis. Factors such as healthcare, schooling, and work-life balance.
The results are captured in the OECD’s Better Life Index – and New Zealand did well!
New Zealand is among the top countries in the Index
The Better Life Index compares the 35 member countries of the OECD plus key partners such as Brazil, Russia and South Africa. The quality of life is measured against 11 topics, each with up to four indicators, and New Zealand is a top performer in most areas.
The OECD average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD33,604. New Zealand’s average is USD25,074 which means it’s less than the OECD average.
In New Zealand, 77% of people between the ages of 15 and 64 have a paid job. This is 9% higher than the OECD average of 68%.
Schooling is important to New Zealanders – 79% of adults aged 25 to 64% have completed upper secondary education. This is slightly above the OECD average of 78%.
When looking at New Zealand’s education system, the average student scored 506 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is higher than the OECD average of 486.
Someone born in New Zealand enjoys a life expectancy of 82 years, which is higher than the OECD average of 80 years. When comparing genders, women’s life expectancy is 83 years compared to 80 years for men.
While New Zealand is known for great work-life balance, 15% of employees work long hours, which is more than the OECD average of 11%.
New Zealand’s level of tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs is 4.9 micrograms per cubic meter. This is much lower than the OECD average of 13.9 micrograms per cubic meter.
It’s not only New Zealand’s air quality that’s great. The water quality in New Zealand is also exceptional! No less than 89% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of water in the country. This is 8% higher than the OECD average of 81%.
When asked if they believe they know someone to rely on in time of need, 96% of New Zealanders said they do. This is 13% higher than the OECD average!
New Zealanders are happy people! When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, New Zealanders responded with a 7.3 grade on average, which is higher than the OECD average of 6.5.
With such a great quality of life it’s no surprise that New Zealand is a top choice for migrants from across the world! Get in touch if you’d like also like to make New Zealand your home.
It’s no simple task though, this immigration business. Many hopeful immigrants don’t even know where to start!
The process isn’t made any simpler by the foreign terms and phrases found in immigration material.
That’s why we compiled a New Zealand immigration glossary, to help you understand various terminologies associated with emigrating to Australia’s neighbour.
Below you’ll find the full list of words and phrases plus their meanings. Why don’t you contact us when you’re done reading and we’ll also tell you the best way to start your immigration?
An acceptable qualification for a post-study work visa:
- Is a New Zealand qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
- Involves 60 weeks of study at Levels 4 to 6, or 30 weeks or more of study at Level 7 and above.
This is a New Zealand employer, who has accreditation to employ people under the New Zealand Work Policy, approved by the NZIS.
This refers to a child who is 17 years of age or older.
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. It is published on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website and it is the system Immigration New Zealand use to check:
- The skill levels of jobs.
- The qualifications and/or experience needed to work in those jobs.
Biometrics is a means of identifying and authenticating a person through features of that person’s body. The most common examples of this are:
- Face structure (photos).
A photocopy stamped or signed by a person as a true copy of the original. The certifier must be authorized by law to take statutory declarations in your home country or in New Zealand. Examples of such persons are lawyers, Justice of the Peace, and court officials.
Civil unions may be between partners of the same or opposite sex. A civil union has the same property and civil rights as a marriage.
You or your partner’s adult brothers or sisters, adult children or parents are considered close family members.
De facto partner
A person who is living in a genuine and stable relationship with their partner, for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
EOI – Expression of Interest
When you are looking to immigrate to New Zealand, everything is dependent on your points score. This is obtained by an assessment in order to determine your eligibility.
The Expression of Interest (EOI) is the initial application stage for New Zealand immigration. Applicants under the skilled migration category will need to complete an Expression of Interest.
If you meet the criteria for the points score, you’ll be able to submit an Expression of Interest.
Essential Skills in Demand Lists
The Essential Skills in Demand Lists details the occupations in New Zealand in need of qualified and experienced talent. There are three lists:
- Long Term Skills Shortage List
- Immediate Skills Shortage List
- Construction and Infrastructure Skills Shortage List.
Full birth certificate
A full birth certificate includes your full name, you date and place of birth, and your parents’ full names.
A job where you work at least 30 hours a week.
Full-time study is where you either:
- Attend a course at a private training establishment for at least 20 hours a week; or
- Enroll for at least three papers, or equivalent, each semester at a University or Polytechnic, or a level 7 or higher qualification at a private training establishment.
Genuine and stable partnership
A relationship that has been entered into on a long term and exclusive basis, and that is likely to last.
To be eligible for immigration to New Zealand, you must be in good health which means you must meet certain health requirements as determined by Immigration New Zealand. You’ll be considered in good health if you’re:
- Unlikely to be a danger to the health of the people already in New Zealand.
- Unlikely to be a financial burden on the New Zealand health or special education services.
- Able to work or study if this is the reason for your visa.
The International English Language Testing System. You may be required to do this English language test to demonstrate that you can speak, read, write and listen in English.
Immigration Advisers Authority
People who give New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed with The Immigration Advisers Authority unless they are exempt. This is a requirement by law.
Immigration New Zealand. INZ is part of the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and is responsible for border control, issuing travel visas and managing immigration to New Zealand.
Invitation to Apply
This simply refers to a stage of the skilled migration visa application process. If you meet certain criteria, you will receive an Invitation to Apply.
Labour market test
Labour market tests are conducted by Immigration New Zealand before granting a work visa under the skilled migrant visa category. The purpose of this test is to check whether:
- An employer has made a genuine attempt to attract and recruit suitable New Zealanders for a job.
- There are any suitable New Zealanders to do a job, or who can be trained to do a job.
Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)
This is a list of long term and highly skilled occupations which there is a shortage of and a strong demand in the New Zealand. Should your occupation be on this list, then you could prospectively qualify for the skilled migrant visa.
Licensed immigration adviser
Licensed immigration advisers for New Zealand have specialised expertise. They have met competency standards and they follow a professional code of conduct.
Advisers are able to help you in the following ways:
- Explore your visa options.
- Prepare your visa application.
- Settle into New Zealand.
- Determine if you can appeal a declined visa.
- Determine your options if you are in New Zealand unlawfully.
The majority of visa options will require you to be assessed against a point’s criterion in order to determine if you qualify or not.
The minimum threshold is the lowest number of points you need to score for your Expression of Interest to enter the Expression of Interest pool. This threshold is currently set at 100 points.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is a government agency responsible for:
- Setting the standards for New Zealand qualifications and recognising overseas qualifications.
- Administering the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and assessing overseas qualifications against it.
These are anyone included in a visa application that is not the principal applicant. For example, the applicant’s partner or dependent children.
Registration with a New Zealand registration authority that allows you to work in a particular occupation in New Zealand.
Offer of employment
An offer of employment is a genuine and sustainable opportunity. The physical offer must include the following:
- Name, address, telephone and/or fax number of the employer.
- Name and address of the person to whom the job offer is extended.
- A full job description including details such as the job title, the type of work, duties and responsibilities involved, and details pay and conditions of employment. Please note this is not the full set of criteria for the job description.
A person you are legally married to, or in a civil union or de facto relationship with, and who you live with in a genuine and stable partnership. Partners can be of the same or opposite sex.
This is the primary person who will be assessed against the criteria of a resident visa.
Qualifications that are recognised based on:
- An assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
- The NZQF level as set out in the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’.
- The NZQF level based on your occupational registration in New Zealand.
This refers to a person who holds a current New Zealand residence permit or alternatively a New Zealand returning resident’s visa.
Employment that you need specialist, technical or management expertise and relevant qualifications and/or work experience to do, and which meets a minimum pay threshold.
New Zealand requires a certain amount of skilled workers that it needs to attract from overseas. Individuals will need to meet a certain set of criteria in terms of their profession, experience, skills and qualifications. If these criteria are met, the applicant is classified as a skilled migrant.
A guarantee from a person, organisation or government agency to look after you while you visit, study, work or settle in New Zealand. If your stay is temporary, your sponsor must also guarantee the cost of your return home.
If you wish to study in New Zealand as a foreign student, you will need to obtain a student visa for New Zealand.
This refers to the purchase of at least a minimum requirement of 25% or more of the shareholding of the business.
Your New Zealand visa shows that you’re able to travel to, or stay in New Zealand temporarily or indefinitely.
Visa waiver country
If you are coming from a visa waiver country to New Zealand, you will not need to obtain a visitor’s visa before you travel.
An activity you perform for which you are remunerated either in salary or wagers, or another benefit like accommodation, food or transport. There are certain activities which are not considered as ‘work’ – please consult with our advisers if you’d like to find out what these activities are.
Work to Residence
You may have outstanding talent in a certain area, such as sports, art or culture. You could then apply to work in New Zealand under the Work to Residence programme.
This will help you gain access to being able to work on a temporary basis in New Zealand. The work visa obtained in this regard can be used as a tool to gain permanent residency.
Did you know it’s possible to work to residence in New Zealand? This means it’s not necessarily the end of the road if you didn’t qualify for permanent residence straight away!
Today we’ll introduce you to all the visa options for work to residence. If you want to find out if you’re eligible for any, we suggest booking your free initial assessment immediately.
How does ‘work to residence’ work?
There are four temporary work visa options under the work to residence programme. When granted one of these visas you’ll be able to apply for permanent residence after you’ve held the temporary visa for two years (or three years for religious workers).
Four work to residence visas for New Zealand
You have four work to residence visas to explore. This is provided you meet the basic qualifying criteria which is that you must:
- Be 55 or younger; and
- Meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements.
The visas are:
- Work to Residence: Long Term Skills Shortage
- Talent (Accredited Employers) Work Visa
- Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
- Religious Worker Work Visa
1. Work to Residence: Long Term Skills Shortage
If you are qualified and skilled in an occupation for which New Zealand has a sustained and ongoing skills shortage, you may be eligible for a work visa under the Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Category.
These are the requirements you’ll have to meet:
- Your skills and experience appear on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.
- You’ve received a full-time job offer that:
- Uses your skills and experience; and
- Pays more than NZ$45,000 a year.
While visas are usually issued for up to 30 months, you’ll be allowed to apply for residence after two years (24 months) provided:
- Your job was on the Long Term Skill Shortage List when you applied for your visa; or
- Your job is on the Long Term Skill Shortage List when you apply for residence.
- You worked in that skill shortage occupation for the duration of your contract.
2. Talent (Accredited Employers) Work Visa
An accredited employer is an employer that has been pre-approved by Immigration New Zealand to employ skilled or talented foreign nationals. This makes the process simpler and smoother for both the employer and the visa applicant.
To apply for temporary residence under the Accredit Employer category, you’ll have to meet the following criteria:
- You have a full-time job offer for at least 2 years from an accredited employer.
- You must work in the specific job, for the specific accredited employers, and in the specific location detailed in the job offer that was the basis of your visa application. This applies to the duration of your visa.
- You’ll earn at least NZ$55,000 a year.
As with the Short Term Skill Shortage category you’ll get a visa valid for up to 30 months. You’ll be allowed to apply for permanent residence after two years of employment.
3. Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
You’ll be eligible for this talent visa if you have an exceptional talent in a field of art, sport or culture. In order to be eligible for an application, you must:
- Have the support of a New Zealand organisation of national repute in your field of talent. Such an organization is one that is nationally recognized for its excellence in either:
- A field of art, culture or sport.
- Fostering exceptional talent in a field of art, culture or sport.
- Be able to demonstrate that your ability will result in positive contribution to the development of your specific field in New Zealand.
Your Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa will be valid for up to 30 months. After two years you’ll be able to apply for permanent residence provided that you:
- Were actively engaged in your field in New Zealand for two years.
- Did not apply for or were granted any social welfare benefits in New Zealand.
4. Religious Worker Work Visa
The Religious Worker Work Visa is a pathway to residence for people who are experience or trained in religious work. To be granted a temporary work visa:
- You must have an offer for religious work from an acceptable religious organisation. An acceptable organization is one that is:
- Registered as a charity; and
- Whose main purpose it is to advance religion.
- The religious organization must act as your sponsor.
The Religious Worker Work Visa is valid for up to two years. If the organisation’s work and sponsorship continues, you can apply for a second work visa. You’ll then be able to apply for permanent residence in New Zealand after three years.
To apply for permanent residence, you must:
- Have at least 5 years of religious training and/or experience.
- Continue to work for a religious organization that’s agreed to sponsor you.
- Have English language ability of at least IELTS Level 5.
- Not have applied for or been granted any social welfare benefits in New Zealand.
Family joining you?
New Zealand does not allow you to include your family in your Work to Residence application for New Zealand. However, your spouse and any dependents may apply separately based on their relationship with you. Once you apply for permanent residence, you can include these family members in your application.
Contact us if you have questions
Read something you need clarification on? Want to discuss the requirements in more detail? Then feel free to contact us via either phone +27 (0) 21 424 2460 / +27 (0) 11 234 4275 or email. If you choose to email us, an advisor will endeavor to contact you within 24 hours to address your questions.