The New Zealand government announced a phased approach to reopening its border on 24 November last year.
On the same day, South Africa reported Omicron, a new COVID-19 variant, to the World Health Organisation.
It wasn’t long before other countries around the world started to report their first cases of Omicron. As a result, New Zealand decided to change its reopening plan.
Phased reopening plan pushed out to the end of February 2022
On 21 December last year, Immigration New Zealand announced that it’ll push out the reopening of its borders until the end of February 2022.
Immigration New Zealand’s statement said the following:
There is no doubt this is disappointing and will upset many holiday plans, but it is important to set these changes out clearly today so they can have time to consider those plans.
COVID-19 keeps throwing new curveballs, and we have to respond in a way that continues to protect lives and livelihoods without putting in place restrictions and lockdowns unless absolutely necessary.
Waiting till the end of February 2022 will increase New Zealand’s overall protection and slow Omicron’s eventual spread.
The reopening was planned for 16 January originally
New Zealand’s initial plan was to kick off with the first phase of its border plan on 16 January of this year.
In this phase, New Zealand will allow travel from Australia for:
- fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens,
- residence-class visa holders, and
- other travellers eligible under its current border settings.
Travellers won’t have to spend time in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ).
The second and third phases were planned for 13 February and 30 April, respectively.
The second phase will allow travel from all other countries around the world, except Very High-Risk countries, for the same group of people as in the first phase.
The third and last phase will see New Zealand allowing travel to the country for all fully vaccinated travellers from around the globe.
As with the first phase, eligible travellers from the second and third phases won’t have to stay in MIQ.
No announcement on a new date yet
New Zealand has not yet made any further announcements regarding the border reopening. We suspect that New Zealand may release an update in the next week or two, as we near the end of February.
Hopefully, the border reopening does start at the end of the month! New Zealand has been good at containing the spread of Omicron so far.
After being unable to see each other in person for nearly two years, New Zealanders and their family overseas finally have a date for when the country’s borders will start to reopen.
The government’s phased plan was announced in a statement by the Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins on 24 November:
Step 1: Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible international travellers – Travel to New Zealand from Australia
The first phase of the border reopening kicks off on Sunday, 16 January 2022.
During this phase, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under New Zealand’s current border settings will be able to travel to New Zealand from Australia. The requirement is that travellers must have been in Australia or New Zealand 14 days before travelling.
Step 2: Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible international travellers – Travel to New Zealand from all other countries
From 13 February 2022, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under New Zealand’s current border settings will be able to travel to New Zealand from all other countries except Very High-Risk countries.
Step 3: All fully vaccinated international travellers – Travel to New Zealand
All fully vaccinated international travellers will be able to travel to NZ from 30 April 2022 onwards, with the re-opening staged over time.
This phase of the plan is what New Zealanders and their families are looking forward to most!
“A phased approach is the safest approach”
“Closing our border was one of the first steps we took to keep our country safe from COVID-19 and it’ll be the last thing we open up, following our transition into the traffic light protection framework system and lifting of the Auckland boundary.”, Minister Hipkins said in his statement.
He continued, saying, “We always said we’d open in a controlled way, and this started with halving the time spent in MIQ to seven days.[…]In the end, we’ve done what we’ve always done, and that is to follow expert advice – which continues to show us the border is our biggest risk for new cases.”
“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed. This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.” Minister Hipkins concluded.
MIQ requirements for travellers
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and travellers no longer have to spend time in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) from the 16th of January 2022.
That doesn’t mean New Zealand is going to take any chances with its citizens’ safety. Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and travellers not required to go into MIQ will still need:
- a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test,
- proof of full vaccination,
- a passenger declaration about travel history,
- a day 0/1 test on arrival, and
- spend seven days in self-isolation and
- a final negative COVID-19 test before entering the community
Travellers who aren’t fully vaccinated, but still permitted to enter New Zealand under the current border setting, will continue to enter MIQ upon arrival for seven days, followed by three days of home isolation. This requirement will also apply to travellers from Very High-Risk countries.
Follow us on social media for reminders as the border reopens
Eager to reunite with your family in New Zealand? Follow us on either Facebook or LinkedIn where we’ll post reminders about the phases of the border reopening. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any immigration assistance.
Are you considering living and working in New Zealand? Then you probably have a lot of questions.
It’s normal too! After all, you’ll move yourself and perhaps even a family to a brand-new country. A country that maybe you haven’t even visited.
To help you get some clarity, we’ve answered eight common questions about working in New Zealand.
1. Is it easy to get a job in New Zealand?
New Zealand makes it possible for people with the right skills, qualifications, and experience to work in New Zealand. If you tick all the boxes, you could easily find a job.
You might also have an easier time getting a job offer if you work in a critical sector such as health care that is especially short of local New Zealand talent.
However, you can’t take either of these factors as a guarantee that you’ll get the first job for which you’ll apply.
Remember that you’ll compete with other job seekers – most likely people from all over the world. That means your CV must stand out, and your interview skills also have to be top-notch.
But if you have everything in place, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t find a job quickly.
2. Is New Zealand a good place to work?
In our opinion? Absolutely! Here are four reasons why we say so:
You can’t beat the work-life balance!
New Zealanders firmly believe that life is for living, which sees them attach a lot of value to time spent with family and friends and enjoying New Zealand’s many leisure opportunities.
The proof? New Zealand ranked fourth in the world for work-life balance in the 2021 Expat Explorer Survey.
There is support available in the workplace for new migrants
Most New Zealand employers are sympathetic towards the struggles of migrants settling into a new country and a new job.
For this reason, you’ll find that many employers are happy to help you in the first couple of weeks by:
- Assigning you a ‘buddy’ – a colleague – to answer your questions and to help you through the first couple of days or weeks
- Giving you time off during the day to take care of appointments or paperwork related to your immigration
- Granting extra leave days or letting you work remotely to take care of something back in your home country
More opportunities for development
New Zealand’s population is small. Just over 5 million people call it home. That’s roughly how many people live in Sydney, Australia!
Due to this, you’ll find that companies and offices are often smaller than you’re used to. That could be just what you’re looking for, though.
In a small team, you’re likely to be more involved in the business activities, leading to more opportunities for professional development, and you stand a greater chance of getting noticed and promoted.
New Zealand’s labour laws protect you
As someone who works in New Zealand, your rights are protected by New Zealand’s labour laws. Your basic rights relate to:
- Pay and employment equity
- Employment agreements
- Employment relationship problems
- Fixed-term employees
- Flexible working arrangements
- Health and safety
- Keeping accurate records for holidays and leave, and wages and time
- Trial periods
Your rights also include a not-often-seen parental leave for up to 12 months. You’re also entitled to four months’ annual leave each year after you’ve been employed for 12 months.
You can read more about your rights on Employee New Zealand.
3. What is a livable salary in New Zealand?
Your situation would heavily influence what constitutes a livable salary.
Let us explain.
If you’re moving over with a partner, you’ll be able to live off less than a family of four. The family of four also has to factor schooling into their budget. Their rental would also be higher than yours. You could easily live in a 2-bedroomed place while the family would need at least three bedrooms.
The best advice we have for you is to find out what you could earn in your occupation and what the average living costs are in New Zealand. You’ll quickly get a sense of whether or not you can afford the life you want.
4. How can a foreigner work in New Zealand?
You must hold a valid visa to work in New Zealand. Your work visa options are as follows:
Skilled migrant visa:
The skilled migrant visa is a residency application, and it’s for individuals with an occupation that is in demand in New Zealand.
Accredited Employer Work Visa:
The accredited employer work visa is for migrants with a job offer from an accredited New Zealand employer. The migrant must have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job. Migrants in some occupations may also be able to fast-track to residence or gain it after two years.
New Zealand Partner visa:
If you want to join your spouse or life partner in New Zealand, you’ll apply for a partner visa. This visa lets you to live and work in New Zealand.
Visa for the partner of a New Zealand work visa holder:
When one partner in a relationship moves to New Zealand on a work visa, the other partner can apply for a visa to join their partner and work in New Zealand.
5. What jobs are in demand in New Zealand?
The jobs in demand in New Zealand range from engineers and early childhood teachers to electricians and ICT managers.
These in-demand jobs are all captured on New Zealand’s Green List.
Remember, though, that having your job on a skill shortage list is only the first step. You’ll also have to meet all the other immigration criteria to apply for a work visa.
6. What qualifications do I need to work in New Zealand?
New Zealand’s skill shortage lists and ANZSCO dictate the qualifications and experience you must have to work in New Zealand in your occupation. You can search for your occupation to see the criteria you’ll have to meet or speak with an advisor for advice.
7. Can I move to New Zealand without a job?
The skilled migrant visa does not require you to have a job offer, but it’s going to be extremely difficult to get enough points for the visa without a job.
In our experience, most people need a job offer to get to the required 160 points.
The accredited employer work visa does require a job offer. You cannot apply for it without a job.
Other than that, if you’re moving over as the partner of a New Zealander or a work visa holder, you won’t need a job before you move.
8. How do I find a job in New Zealand?
You have three main ways in which to find a job in New Zealand:
Job search websites:
A good recruiter is a fantastic asset if you want to increase your chances of getting a job. That’s especially true if you’re job hunting from overseas! A recruiter in New Zealand can share information about the New Zealand job market and give you tips on what employers want.
The other advantage of working with a recruiter is that recruiters often know about jobs not advertised on job search websites or social media. That’s usually because industry-specific recruiters have relationships with employers.
And, let’s not forget – working with a recruiter is free! You won’t have to add to your already extensive list of immigration-related expenses.
Here’s a list of recruiters to get you started:
- 6am Recruitment Ltd: Engineering, construction, transport, manufacturing, and logistics
- Greenlight Recruitment: Information technology and communications
- Education Personnel: Education and social sciences
- Frontline Health New Zealand: Health and community
- Seven Animal Health: Animal care and conservation
- Alpha Recruitment: Business, executive and professional
LinkedIn is a powerful job search tool. You can use it to build your profile, network, approach companies you’d like to work for and find and apply for jobs.
For further information about how to get a job in New Zealand, read this article on our blog. We’ve included a checklist for building a strong LinkedIn profile.
Go here for more information about working in New Zealand
There are many expat forums and groups online that you can join to get insider info about living and working in New Zealand. We suggest starting with Expat Arrivals, and InterNations. New Zealand Now is also a fantastic resource!
New Zealand announced that non-citizens arriving in the country from 1 November must be fully vaccinated.
Immigration New Zealand is putting this measure in place to further reduce the possibility of the COVID virus getting through New Zealand’s border.
Who’s affected by this new requirement?
You’ll have to be fully vaccinated to enter New Zealand if:
- you’re 17 or older,
- travelling by air,
- and not a New Zealand citizen.
Some exceptions do apply.
How do you prove your vaccination status?
You’ll have to declare your vaccination status when registering with the Managed Isolation Allocation system. You’ll also have to present proof of vaccination or a relevant exemption to your airline and to Customs officers once you land in New Zealand.
Are all vaccines acceptable?
The COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group has recommended that a full course of any of the 22 COVID-19 vaccines approved by a government or approval authority will be accepted at this stage.
You would’ve had to get the last dose of your vaccine at least 14 days before your arrival in New Zealand.
Would you still have to isolate once you’ve arrived in New Zealand?
Yes, you’ll still have complete 14 days in Managed Isolation and Quarantine. You’ll also still have to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your first scheduled international flight. The latter won’t, however, apply to you if you’re from an exempt country.
A word of caution!
If you’re subject to this new requirement and you fail to present proof of vaccination, you may be subject to an infringement notice under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Act 2020, which under a Bill currently before the House would carry a maximum fine of NZD4,000.
Please also see this article for the latest information about border restrictions for New Zealanders.
More than a year after first closing its borders, New Zealand has finally announced that it would start easing border restrictions.
The first stage starts on 14 November. The second stage kicks off in the first quarter of 2022.
The easing of the restrictions will still apply to all but New Zealand citizens and residents, though, with only a few exceptions.
Don’t be discouraged by this! The fact that New Zealand is making these changes is a positive sign and a step in the right direction.
Stage 1: Shorter stays in managed isolation quarantine facilities
From 14 November, the managed isolation quarantine (MIQ) period for international arrivals into New Zealand will reduce from 14 days to 7 days, followed by isolation at home for around three days.
The Minister for COVID-19 response, Chris Hipkins, said, “MIQ has served us well. Over 183,000 New Zealanders have returned home through MIQ since border restrictions were put in place last year, stopping cases at the border and allowing us to live life free of restrictions for the better part of 18 months.”
He added, “When MIQ was introduced, we didn’t have the vaccine, so every arrival posed a high level of risk. With most people returning now fully vaccinated, the risk profile of international arrivals has changed, so it’s time to start changing our MIQ settings.”
Rigorous COVID testing in MIQ and while in at-home isolation
All international arrivals will get tested for COVID on day 0/1, day 3, and day 6/7 of their stay in MIQ.
On day 7, people will get a rapid antigen test and undergo health checks before leaving MIQ to isolate further at home.
The final test, a PCR test, happens on day nine. and people will have to stay at home until the test results come back.
Stage 2: Home isolation for vaccinated overseas arrivals in the first quarter of 2022
In the first quarter of 2022, New Zealand will start allowing fully vaccinated international arrivals to self-isolate at home instead of in MIQ.
Minister Hipkins said, “…our priority at this stage is to safely transition to the traffic light system first and bed that in before adding the additional risk of international arrivals immediately before entering the community. When the COVID-19 Protection Framework is bedded in, 90 per cent of eligible New Zealanders will be fully vaccinated, so we will have a higher level of confidence than we do right now of allowing international arrivals to go straight into the community.”
More details to follow in November
New Zealand will start updating fees, exemption, and exception frameworks and isolate at-home guidelines at the start of November. Keep an eye on https://covid19.govt.nz/ for all the details.
On 30 September 2021, New Zealand’s Minister of Immigration, Kris Faafoi, announced the 2021 Resident Visa!
This 2021 Resident visa is a one-off, simplified pathway to residence for around 165,000 migrants currently in New Zealand. Some people arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term critical purpose visas may also be eligible for this new visa.
More about the 2021 Resident Visa
The 2021 Resident Visa provides a residency pathway for up to 165,000 migrants, including more than 5,000 health and aged care workers, about 9,000 primary industry workers, and more than 800 teachers.
The 2021 Resident Visa will be available to most holders of work-related visas – including Essential Skills, Work to Residence, and Post Study Work Visas – and their immediate family members.
“We are providing a way forward for our migrant families who have been long disrupted by COVID-19 while ensuring businesses have the certainty they need to plan into the future and continue driving the economic recovery,” Minister Faafoi said.
Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa will open in two phases. The first phase will start on 1 December 2021 for some eligible applicants. The second phase will kick off on 1 March 2022 for the remaining eligible applicants. The deadline for all applications is 31 July 2022.
Strict eligibility criteria
To be eligible to apply for a 2021 Resident visa, you must have met the criteria on 29 September 2021. These criteria state that you must:
- have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and
- be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.
You must also meet one of these three criteria:
- You have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, which means you must have:
- arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018, and
- have spent a minimum of 821 days in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021.
- You earn at or above the median wage (NZD27 per hour)
- You work in a job on a scarce list, which includes:
- Jobs on the Long Term Skill Shortage List
- Jobs requiring occupational registration in the health or education sector
- Personal carer and other critical health workers
- Specified primary sector jobs
The New Zealand government may still consider you eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa if you meet the criteria but you are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by 29 September 2021.
You must hold one of these 15 eligible visas
As stated above, you must hold an eligible visa on the 29th of September. The eligible visas are as follows:
- Post Study Work Visa
- Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
- Essential Skills Work Visa
- Religious Worker Work Visa
- Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
- Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
- Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa
- Trafficking Victim Work Visa
- Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa
- Skilled Migration Category Job Search Work Visa
- Victims of Family Violence Work Visa
- South Island Contribution Work Visa
- Work Visa granted under section 61, provided you held another eligible visa type within six months before being granted a Section 61 visa
- Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas:
- Critical health workers for longer-term roles (6 months or longer)
- Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months)
Unfortunately, short-term visa holders are not eligible. These visa holders include visitors, students, working holiday makers, and seasonal workers like those on the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme or those who enter as short-term critical workers.
The application process will have two phases
The 2021 Resident visa will be open for applications in two phases, with the first group of people able to apply from 1 December 2021.
From 1 December 2021 you can apply if:
- You have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work categories before 29 September 2021, or
- You have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, and have included your dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.
From 1 March 2022, all other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.
Immigration New Zealand will contact visa holders who are eligible to apply from 1 December by the end of October with more information about the application process.
What are your options if you don’t meet the criteria for the 2021 Resident Visa?
The New Zealand government has advised anyone in New Zealand who does not meet the criteria of the 2021 Resident Visa to look at what other resident pathways or temporary visa options may be available to them.
Please feel free to contact us in the event that you need assistance with extending your stay in New Zealand. Our advisors are registered and licensed to provide advice on all residency options for New Zealand.
Immigration to New Zealand is an adventure countless families from around the world undertake each year in search of a better life.
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 this New Zealand immigration glossary, to help you understand various terminologies associated with emigrating to Australia’s neighbour.
Absolute skills shortage
Skilled occupations that New Zealand hasn’t had enough people to do for a long time. These occupations are listed on the Long Term Skills Shortage List.
An ‘acceptable’ investment is one that:
- is able to make a commercial return
- is not for your own personal use (such as a boat or personal residence)
- is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency
- is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in force in New Zealand
- has the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy
- is invested in any of the following:
- bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities
- bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX)
- bonds issued by New Zealand organisations with a BBB- rating or better (or equivalent) from an internationally recognised credit rating agency, eg Standard and Poor’s
- equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds)
- bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks
- equities in New Zealand registered banks, as defined by the New Zealand Reserve Bank Act 1989
- venture capital funds that are managed by a fund manager or broker and meet all the criteria for an acceptable investment
- residential property development
- bonds in finance companies
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 for skilled migration to check:
- The skill levels of occupations
- The qualifications and/or experience needed to work in occupations
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.
This is the acronym for 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 for a visa.
Labour market test
The labour market test is a test to establish whether:
- an employer has made a genuine attempt to attract and recruit suitable New Zealanders for a job; and
- if there are any suitable New Zealanders to do a job, or who can be trained to do a job.
When INZ carries out a labour market test, they’ll look at things like:
- The employer’s reasons for not employing a New Zealander to do a job
- Evidence of the employer’s recruitment attempts, like newspaper and internet advertising
- Advice from Work and Income
- Advice from industry groups, like unions
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
Funds that are invested in one of the following:
- A managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution
- Equities that are managed by a fund manager or broker
For INZ to accept managed funds as an investment, managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand companies. Managed funds with international exposure are acceptable only for the part of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.
This is a document you get from a medical practitioner after you have completed a medical examination. The certificate tells INZ the results of that examination which INZ then use to determine whether you have an acceptable standard of health for immigration to New Zealand.
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
Under the Skilled Migrant Category, you can qualify for bonus points for a recognised qualification that you have studied for and gained through a New Zealand institution such as a university or polytechnic. You can also qualify for bonus points for two years of full-time study in New Zealand towards a recognised qualification.
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
Non-principal applicants 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 for a resident visa.
A certificate, degree or diploma that is officially sanctioned based on:
- an assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that relates to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF); and
- its level on the NZQF as set out in the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’; and
- its level on the NZQF based on the applicant’s job registration in New Zealand (if that registration involves an assessment equal to a qualification on the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’)
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.
Skilled work experience
Work experience that you can claim points for by showing you were suitably qualified before you started that work. You can read more about skilled work experience on INZ’s website.
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.
Sufficient funds for students
Full fee paying students must provide evidence they have enough money to live on while they are in New Zealand.
Evidence can include:
- Bank statements showing funds held by or on behalf of the student that showing the equivalent of NZ $15,000 for a full year of study, or NZ $1,250 per month in New Zealand
- A ‘Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry’ completed by an acceptable sponsor
- A completed ‘Financial Undertaking for a Student’ form.
Funds held by or on behalf of the student must be from a genuine source (such as the salary of the student’s parents) and be available to the student throughout their stay in New Zealand.
If you wish to study in New Zealand as a foreign student, you will need to obtain a student visa for New Zealand.
Your New Zealand visa shows that you’re able to travel to, enter and 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.
Pearson PTE has announced three changes to their PTE Academic English test. The English language test provider says its making the changes to ensure that the PTE Academic the most convenient, stress-free English test available.
In our opinion, the planned changes coming into effect on the 16th of November are certainly positive.
You can read more about the changes below:
1. A shorter test
The PTE Academic is reducing in length from three hours to a more convenient two hours.
The format of the test is not changing!
You’ll still get tested on the same English skills, and you’ll still get asked the same types of questions. Pearson PTE will also continue to use the same scoring scale. You’ll just have fewer questions to answer.
Why is Pearson PTE changing the test length?
Pearson PTE wants to make their PTE Academic the most convenient choice for test-takers. Through extensive testing, Pearson PTE found that reducing the number of questions could improve the efficiency of PTE Academic with no impact on test scores or quality.
2. Enhanced score report feedback
You’ll get a new personalized “skills profile” alongside your PTE Academic score report with additional feedback on your performance. This feedback will also include suggestions for how to improve.
3. At-home English tests
PTE Academic will offer an Online test option that you can do at home. However, PTE Academic Online is unfortunately not recognised for visa and immigration purposes.
When would you take an English test?
English tests assess your English language skills for some New Zealand visas. Where the test applies, Immigration New Zealand requires you to attain a satisfactory score to prove that your English skills meet their requirements.
How do I prepare for an English test?
There are four ways in which you can ensure you do your best in an English test:
- Understand the test format
- You’ll get tested on your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.
- Practice with sample tests
- You’ll be able to familiarise yourself with the test format, experience the types of tasks you’ll have to do, test yourself under timed conditions, and review your answers and compare them with model answers.
- Work with an English language teacher
- English language teachers will introduce you to the test format, take you through sample tests, give feedback, and focus on your developmental areas.
- Know what to expect on test day
- Find out how long your test will be and what you’ll need to take with you to the testing centre.
You can read more about these strategies on our blog.
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The New Zealand government has created several border exceptions in the past couple of months to allow skilled workers into the country.
The latest border exceptions are for six occupations ranging from horticultural mobile plant operators to sheep shearers.
Agricultural and Horticultural mobile plant operators
For the 2021/22 season, up to 125 agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operators can be nominated for assessment by New Zealand employers.
To be eligible for nomination, overseas workers must:
- have at least three seasons’ experience as agricultural or horticultural mobile plant operators,
- have the relevant vehicle licensing qualifications,
- work under an approved contract agreement in a fulltime role with specified rural contract operators, and
- earn at or above the median wage per year.
Mixed and large animal veterinarians
Up to 30 veterinarians may enter New Zealand to work under the border exception created for this occupation. Vets must hold the qualifications and experience necessary for licensing and registration with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand to qualify for this border exception.
Up to 40 foreign shearers contracted by or through a New Zealand Shearers Contractor’s Association (NZSCA) employer and with more than two years’ experience will be able to travel to New Zealand to support the upcoming main shear season.
Deepwater fishing crew
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) can nominate up to 615 deepwater fishing crew. To be eligible for a 12-month visa as a border exception, the crew must be paid at least the minimum wage plus NZ$4 per hour.
What other occupations have border exceptions?
New Zealand has also created border exceptions for teachers, healthcare workers, dairy farm workers and general practice veterinarians:
Immigration New Zealand announced in July that it is going to create a border exception for 300 qualified teachers from overseas. The Ministry of Education will invite applications for these teachers from September.
Read more about the border exception for teachers on our blog.
New Zealand welcomes healthcare workers into the country to help in the fight against COVID-19. The border exception applies to:
- Registered health practitioners, including nurses, doctors and paramedics – this includes those working in hospitals, practices, and aged care facilities
- Internationally-qualified nurses, who still have to register in New Zealand
- Workers that operate and maintain medical equipment
You can find a complete list of occupations on Immigration New Zealand’s website under the Critical Health Workers heading.
Dairy farm managers and assistants
Up to 150 dairy farm managers and 50 dairy farm assistants will be able to travel to New Zealand to support the upcoming calving season.
You can read more about this exception on our blog.
General practice veterinarians
Up to 50 veterinarians will be able to enter and work in New Zealand. Click here to find out more about this exception.
Want to know when New Zealand creates more border exceptions?
While we can’t guarantee that New Zealand will create more border exceptions, we can promise that we’ll let you know if and when it happens. The easiest way to catch updates is to follow us on either Facebook or LinkedIn. We share news on our social media channels as soon it’s announced.
New Zealand closed their borders to just about anyone when COVID-19 first struck in 2020, but the country has since created several border exceptions for people in critical occupations and visa categories.
There is thus no reason to put off your emigration if you qualify for one of the border exceptions listed below.
Even if none of these border exceptions apply to you, there are still good reasons to start your emigration (you can skip to numbers 6 and 7 on our list to see why).
1. New Zealand IS ACCEPTING visa applications under some categories
Immigration New Zealand announced in September that it’s now again accepting visa applications under four categories:
- Parent Retirement
- Migrant Investor (Investor 1 and 2), including Expressions of Interest for Investor 2
- Refugee Family Support (Tiers 1 and 2)
The rationale behind accepting Investor and Entrepreneur visas is that these visas brings investment into New Zealand and add jobs to the economy. This is much-needed in a post-COVID-19 world.
2. You might qualify for an ‘other critical worker’ border exception
In September 2020, INZ relaxed the criteria for some overseas workers to allow migrants with critical skills through the border.
The New Zealand employer will apply for the exception. The overseas worker must fall into one of two categories and then meet the criteria associated with the category under which the employer wants to apply for the border exception.
3. New Zealand announced a border exception for 300 teachers in July!
Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced on 3 July that 300 overseas qualified teachers will be able to enter New Zealand under a new class border exception.N
“This will give principals and services additional support, especially for 2022 recruitment, and complement existing teacher supply initiatives”, said Minister Hipkins.
The exception may also be open to teachers who worked in New Zealand but who had to leave the country and were unable to return to their job due to border closures.
Furthermore, Immigration New Zealand is creating a family reunification border exception for the partners and dependent children of teachers who are already in New Zealand on temporary visas. These teachers will be able to request for their family to join them for the duration of their visa.
4. INZ is creating a border exception for dairy farm workers
Immigration New Zealand is introducing a border exception for up to 150 dairy herd managers, up to 50 dairy farm workers and up to 50 veterinarians.
“It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long way towards relieving those pressures,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.
To apply for the exception, you must have between three to five 5 years’ experience and meet the remuneration threshold of NZD85,000 per year.
5. The border exception for critical healthcare workers is indefinite!
Up to March 2021, the border exception for critical healthcare workers had a start date of 31 March 2021. This start date meant that new, approved employees had to start working for their New Zealand employer on or before 31 March 2021.
Much to the delight of visa holders and New Zealand employers, INZ decided to remove the start date. This move meant that the border exception for critical healthcare workers became indefinite!
Eligible healthcare workers can thus enter New Zealand at any stage to take up employment in the country.
6. You can complete critical parts of your skilled migrant visa application despite the border closures
Let’s first explain why you’d want to do that. It’s simple. If you complete the critical parts now, you’ll be ready to submit your visa application as soon as the restrictions are lifted. You’ll be streets ahead of migrants who chose to wait and see what happens first.
Our advisors always tell our clients that their focus should be on the long term not the short term!
Let’s now look at some examples of those critical parts that you can tick off your to-do list.
It is, for instance, your personal documents such as birth certificates and police clearances. Keep in mind also that if you’re applying as a skilled worker you may need occupational registration and a qualification assessment. These are known to take long and may take even longer now. It’s therefore much better to start your emigration process sooner rather than later!
7. INZ could change immigration regulations which could mean that you don’t qualify to apply for a visa at all
We do not say this to scare you. This has happened all too often in the past.
Take for example the big changes that were made to Essential Skills visas earlier this year, including that your median wage would determine the family members you can support and in what manner.
Let’s not forget about when INZ closed the Parent Resident visa in October 2019 until February of this year. At the same time, INZ made a number of changes to the visa. One of these changes was capping the number of visas at 1,000 annually.
These changes scuppered many people’s plans!
Remember that generally you’re safe from any changes if your visa application is already in the system when it happens. This is another good reason to start your emigration sooner rather than later.
Ready to get going with your visa application?
Contact us if you want to find out if you qualify for any of New Zealand’s border exceptions, or if you simply want to start putting together your visa application.
Our advisors can assess your immigration eligibility and work out a personalized immigration plan. Our administrative team can then help you get all the parts together.
We want to see you realise your dream of living in New Zealand as much as you do, so we’re looking forward to working with you!