Articles with frequently-asked questions about immigration to New Zealand. From how the immigration points system works to how the healthcare system works.
FAQ: Skilled Migrant Visa of New Zealand
Do you want to learn more about the Skilled Migrant Visa of New Zealand? Then you’ve come to the right place!
We’re answering all of your burning questions about this visa in this article. If you’re eager to find out if you can apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa by the end of the article, you should book a consultation call with our licensed advisor.
Now on to those frequently asked questions:
1. What is the Skilled Migrant Visa?
The Skilled Migrant Visa is a work visa. This visa enables you to live and work in New Zealand permanently.
You may also study if you wish, but you may not be self-employed. If you want to run your own business, you’ll have to look into the Entrepreneur Visa.
2. What are the Skilled Migrant Visa requirements?
Immigration New Zealand seeks skilled migrants to fill labour gaps in the country’s workforce. For this reason, you’ll have to meet strict requirements that are mainly related to your:
Apart from this, you’ll also have to be under the age of 55 and meet the following criteria:
- English language requirements associated with the Skilled Migrant Visa
- New Zealand’s health and character requirements
3. For how long is a skilled migrant visa valid?
The Skilled Migrant Visa is a residency visa and is thus valid indefinitely. You can work, live and study in New Zealand, and include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your visa application.
4. What is classed as skilled work in New Zealand?
Immigration New Zealand uses the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZSCO) to classify ‘skilled work’.
ANZSCO is used within the skilled migration programs to set guidelines for the skills and work experience visa applicants must meet to work in specific occupations in Australia or New Zealand.
Here’s how it works, as explained by Immigration New Zealand:
When applying for a Skilled Migrant Visa, you must find the closest matching ANZSCO occupation for your current job or job offer. You must also be suitably qualified to do the job, which means your training and experience should match your occupation’s ANZSCO skill level.
INZ will assess your occupation as skilled if it is:
- Is described in the ANZSCO as a skill level 1, 2 or 3, and it:
- Mostly matches the ANZSO descriptions of that occupation
- Meets the pay rate threshold of NZ$ 27 per hour (or equivalent annual salary) or more, or
- Is described in the ANZSCO as skill level 4 or 5, and it
- Mostly matches the ANZSO descriptions of that occupation
- Meets the pay rate threshold of NZ$ 40.50 per hour (or equivalent annual salary) or more, or
- Has no matching description in the ANZSCO and meets the pay rate threshold of NZ$ 40.50 per hour (or the equivalent annual salary) or more
5. What jobs are in demand in New Zealand?
Jobs that are in high demand in New Zealand are in a few key industries:
- Healthcare: Nurses, General Practitioners, Specialist Physicians, etc
- Education: Early Childhood Teachers, Academic Advisers, University Lecturers, etc
- IT: Developers, ICT Project Managers, ICT Security Specialists, etc
- Construction: Construction Project Manager, Civil Engineer, Quantity Surveyors, etc
As New Zealand’s needs change, those industries change.
For example, New Zealand focused heavily on healthcare at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Immigration New Zealand even went as far as creating border exceptions specifically for healthcare workers.
6. How do I get a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand?
The first step to getting a Skilled Migrant Visa for New Zealand is meeting the basic criteria:
- You’re 55 or younger
- Your occupation appears on one of New Zealand’s Essential Skills in Demand Lists
- You have a job offer
- Your points score from your skills assessment is 160 or more
- You meet the English language requirements
- You meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements
The second step, once you’ve been assessed as skilled and you scored at least 160 points, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
If Immigration New Zealand selects your EOI, you’ll get an invitation to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
At this stage, you’ll get to lodge your visa application – and if it’s successful, you’ll get a Skilled Migrant Visa.
7. What are New Zealand’s Essential Skills in Demand Lists?
New Zealand has three Essential Skills in Demand Lists. These lists capture all the highly-skilled occupations for which there are a shortage of local skilled workers.
Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL)
The Long Term Skills Shortage List identifies occupations with a sustained and ongoing shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand. In other words, your occupation is in demand not just now but also for the foreseeable future.
Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL)
The Regional Skilled Shortage List (RSSL) identifies 15 regions with occupations with an immediate shortage of skilled workers, which gives migrants a better idea about opportunities in regional areas.
Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL)
The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List also contains immediate short-term skills shortages, but these shortages are specific to the construction industry.
You can only move on to the next step of the process if you meet all of these requirements – submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI). If your EOI is selected from the pool by INZ, you’ll get an invitation to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
8. How many points do I need to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa?
You’ll need at least 160 points to submit an Expression of Interest. Immigration New Zealand only invites EOIs with 160 points or more to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
What if I can’t score 160 points?
You might have to consider another work visa if you cannot score 160 points or more in your skills assessment. You could also explore other visas that allow you to live in New Zealand, such as the Entrepreneur or Investor visas.
How can I increase my points score?
The best way to score more points is with a job offer. As explained earlier, it’s near impossible to achieve 160 points or more in your skills assessment without a job offer.
However, it is best to speak with a licensed immigration advisor regarding your points. That is the best way to get an accurate points score.
9. What is an Expression of Interest?
Your Expression of Interest (EOI) is how you notify Immigration New Zealand of your desire to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
Your EOI will contain information related to the criteria of the Skilled Migrant Visa, which means your:
- English language ability
INZ will review all EOIs in the pool and select the EOIs it feels are the best candidates for immigration to New Zealand. Remember that you’re applying under a skilled category, so competition is fierce!
How long does an EOI stay in the pool?
Your Expression of Interest will stay in the EOI pool for six months. You’ll have to reapply if INZ does not select your EOI during this timeframe.
However, if your EOI is selected, you’ll get an invitation to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
10. How long does it take to get a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand?
Immigration New Zealand publishes how long it takes them to process applications on their website.
Currently (March 2022), INZ completes 50% of applications within 26 months, while it completes 75% and 90% of applications within 28 and 31 months.
Your immigration advisor should also be able to give you a timeframe for the entire process.
- Published in FAQs - New Zealand Immigration, Latest posts, Working in New Zealand
FAQs: New Zealand Expression of Interest
There are many parts to a Skilled Migrant visa application. One of these parts is the New Zealand Expression of Interest. Continue reading to find out what it is and where it fits into the process.
1. What is the Expression of Interest?
The Expression of Interest is an initial application to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) indicating your interest in applying for a Skilled Migrant visa.
2. How do I qualify to submit an Expression of Interest to INZ?
As someone who wants to immigrate to New Zealand as a skilled migrant, everything hinges on your points score. You must score at least 100 points in an immigration eligibility assessment to submit an Expression of Interest.
3. Where does the EOI fit into the Skilled Migrant application process?
The EOI is the third step in your Skilled Migrant visa application:
The first step is making sure that you meet the basic requirements:
- You’re 55 or younger
- You’re of good health
- You meet New Zealand’s character requirements
- You meet the English language standards for the Skilled Migrant visa
The second step is doing your points-based immigration eligibility assessment. If you score 100 points or more, you’ll move ahead with the process.
You submit your Expression of Interest.
You get an Invitation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa if your EOI is selected by INZ.
4. Does submitting an Expression of Interest mean I’ll get a visa?
Unfortunately, being able to submit an Expression of Interest does not guarantee that you’ll get a visa.
Let us explain:
Your EOI will go into an Expression of Interest pool, along with the EOIs of everyone else who want to apply for a Skilled Migrant visa.
From this pool, Immigration New Zealand selects the EOIs it feels are from the best candidates for immigration to New Zealand. In our experience, that means EOIs with at least 160 points and a job offer.
5. How long does my EOI stay in the pool?
Expressions of Interest are valid for 6 months. If you haven’t been selected from the pool of applicants in this time, you’ll have to submit your EOI again.
6. Can I increase my points score?
INZ awards points for age, qualifications and experience. There’s not much you can do to change any of these to get more points.
However, a job offer does increase your points score and it earns you enough points to make a significant difference to your Expression of Interest.
Our advice is to secure a job offer to give your EOI a greater chance of selection.
7. Should I wait to submit my Expression of Interest until I have a job offer?
You don’t have to but remember that your Expression of Interest is only valid for 6 months:
- Are you confident that you’ll secure a job offer in 6 months? Then you can go ahead and submit your Expression of Interest. INZ allows you to amend your EOI once it’s been submitted.
- Don’t want the pressure of having to find a job in 6 months and having to submit and pay for an EOI more than once? Then you might want to wait with your EOI until you have a job offer.
8. What if I can’t secure a job offer and 160 points?
You could still submit or leave your Expression of Interest in the pool but you should also consider other visa options if you’re determined to work in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Expression of Interest in summary
- The Expression of Interest is the third step in the Skilled Migrant Visa application process.
- To submit an EOI to INZ for consideration, you’ll have to score 100 points in an immigration eligibility assessment.
- Your Expression of Interest will stay in the EOI pool for 6 months.
- INZ usually selects Expressions of Interest with 160 points and a job offer from the EOI pool.
- If you can’t secure a job offer and 160 points, you might have to consider applying for another type of visa.
- However, if you’re successful and INZ selects your EOI from the pool, you’ll get an Invitation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
Do you have more questions?
Please feel free to contact us should you have any other questions about the Expression of Interest. Our immigration agents are licensed to give advice and happy to help!
FAQ: Getting a job in New Zealand
Getting a job in New Zealand is crucial to your skilled visa application. But how do you know what jobs are in demand? Or how to find the best jobs? And what is a good salary in New Zealand? You don’t want to take just any job, after all.
There are so many questions!
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’re answering all of the questions above and seven more right here. Read to the end and you’ll feel much more confident about your job search.
1. Is it easy to get a job in New Zealand?
This is going to depend on your situation.
For starters, you’re going to find it easier getting a job in New Zealand if you work in an occupation that is in high demand. Your job search is also going to be smoother if you already know someone in New Zealand in your field who you can network with.
Entering the job search prepared is also going to make it easier to find a job. With that we mean doing things like completing your professional occupational registration if it’s needed, redoing your CV in a format that’s preferred by New Zealand employers, and being in a position to tell the employer that you do qualify for a work visa.
2. What jobs are in high demand in New Zealand?
The jobs that are in high demand and occupations that have been identified by the New Zealand Government as a ‘skill shortage’ is not necessarily the same. There are definitely overlaps, like engineers and nurses, but as a migrant it’s advisable to look at the jobs on the Essential Skills in Demand Lists.
There are three of these lists:
- Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL): The Long Term Skills Shortage List identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand.
- Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL): The Regional Skilled Shortage List (RSSL) identifies 15 regions with occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers. This gives migrants a better idea about opportunities in regional areas.
- Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL): The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List also contains immediate short-term skills shortages but these shortages are specific to the construction industry. The CISSL is divided into the same 15 regions as the RSSL.
3. Can I apply for a New Zealand work visa without a job offer?
Yes, you’ll need a job offer to apply for both the Skilled Migrant visa and the Essential Skills visa.
You can do further reading about working in New Zealand on our website. You’ll find all the requirements for work visas and also discover what it’s like to work in New Zealand.
4. What is a good salary in New Zealand?
A February 2019 Stuff article revealed that the average middle-class household earns up to NZ$100,000 a year but still struggle to make ends meet.
The article sourced data from the 2018 Quality of Life Survey produced by Nielsen on behalf of eight councils in New Zealand. These councils included Auckland Council, Christchurch City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
This was the survey feedback from residents in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand’s most popular cities among migrants:
Almost half of Auckland households earning between $70,000 and $100,000 a year said they’re just able to make ends meet
In Christchurch, 34 per cent of residents in the $70,000 to $100,000 band said they had just enough to survive
When asked for comment, economist Shamubeel Eaquab said “Around the world we are seeing the same pattern. People are living with high incomes and struggling to make ends meet.”
Eaquab added that “A $70,000 household income in a small town could seem high, but in Auckland it’s probably not enough. Incomes have not kept pace with rents.”
What is the average salaries for in-demand occupations?
Let’s consult TradeMe which released a salary guide for New Zealand for the six months to April 2020:
|Early childhood teachers||NZ$60k|
|Civil and Structural Engineers||NZ$85k|
|Doctors and Specialists||NZ$45k|
|Psychologists and Counsellors||NZ$65k|
|Business and Systems Analysts||NZ$115k|
|Boilermakers and Welders||NZ$60k|
You can view the complete salary guide on TradeMe.
What is New Zealand’s living costs?
We compiled the living costs for New Zealand at the beginning of 2020. You can find that article in our blog section but please keep in mind that the costs were correct as at February 2020.
You’ll also find a living cost comparison of Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland in our blog section. We calculated the basic monthly expenses, travel costs, restaurant prices, and school fees.
5. How do I find jobs?
There are a couple things you can do to find a job:
- Stand out from the crowd with a migration cover letter and a New Zealand-friendly CV
- Network with people in your industry, either in person or on LinkedIn
- Sign up for job alerts on career websites
- Identify companies you’d like to work for and see if they have job openings
You’ll also need to know where to look for jobs. You’re in luck here because we’ve done the research for you. We’ve included employers in our Working in New Zealand Guide and we also list 10 of the country’s top recruiters on our website.
6. Will I need to do qualifications and occupational registration?
Immigration New Zealand has a list of common international qualifications that have already been assessed against the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). If your qualification is on this list, it is exempt from assessment. However, if you qualification is not listed, you may have to get it assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
Immigration New Zealand has a list of jobs that require some form of official registration. You may need to provide evidence of your occupational registration when you submit your visa application if you are:
- Applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and planning to work in an occupation where registration is required, or
- Including a job offer in a work visa application an occupation registration is a requirement
Please feel free to contact us to speak to us about qualifications and occupational registration.
7. What if the recruiter or company asks if I have New Zealand work experience?
Many New Zealand recruiters and employers value work experience gained in New Zealand because it shows that you’re familiar with the Kiwi way of working. Someone who’s worked in New Zealand may also need less training when starting with the company.
If you only have overseas working experience, you have to frame that experience in a way that shows the interviewer that your experience is valuable.
Let’s say the interviewer says to you, “I see you don’t have any New Zealand work experience.” A good way to respond to this is the following:
“That’s true. However, I have worked in many English speaking countries with similar engineering codes to those in New Zealand. The most recent role I had (name the country) was closely related to this position. I have checked and my qualification from (name the country) covered the same basic areas as the New Zealand degree.”
8. How do I show the recruiter I’m the right person for the job?
You’re in the interview because the employer think you can do the job based on your qualifications, skills and experience. Now you have to show them that you’re a good fit for the company too.
A large part of this is showing that you understand the New Zealand way of working:
- Managers and employees often have an informal and friendly relationship at work
- Status is not as important as in some other countries
- Kiwi employees prefer managers to consult and ask, not to command
- Leaders are expected to be good at motivating their team while treating everyone equally and with respect
- Employees that are not in management positions have to be able to work independently and use their initiative, without relying on a manager to make every decision
9. Do I have to go to New Zealand for interviews?
Even though virtual interviews are common these days, you should still expect that some employers would ask that you attend at least one interview in person. Just be sure to apply for a Look See Decide visa before travelling to New Zealand.
10. Can I work in New Zealand before I get my visa?
No, you cannot. You can only travel to New Zealand and start your job once you have your visa in your passport.
Do you have more questions about getting a job in New Zealand?
If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200. You can also book a consultation call if you want to go ahead and find out if you qualify for a work visa. Our licensed immigration advisors can do an assessment with you and advise on the next steps to take.
- Published in FAQs - New Zealand Immigration, Working in New Zealand
FAQs: Health care In New Zealand
Health care in New Zealand is world-class! In a 2019 study conducted by ID Medical, a UK healthcare recruiter, New Zealand’s healthcare system was tied with that of the UK.
New Zealand also fares well in the World Health Organisation’s rankings where it finds itself among the top 50 countries.
It should come as no surprise that many migrants who pick New Zealand lists the country’s health care as a ‘pull factor’. Especially migrants with families!
Parent or no parent though, you’re sure to have questions about New Zealand’s healthcare system.
That’s why we’ve decided to answer 8 of your most frequently asked questions today. Up first:
1. Does New Zealand have a public healthcare system?
Yes, New Zealand does have a public healthcare system. Eligible residents get free or subsidised health and disability services which include:
- Primary health care visits such as doctor’s visits.
- Prescribed medicines.
- Public hospital services.
- Support services if you have disabilities.
2. Does the public healthcare system also cover dentistry?
While dental care is free for eligible children up to the age of 18, you’ll have to pay for most dental services yourself. However, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), a government agency, will help with the cost if you need dental treatment because of an accident or injury.
Please note that free dental care for eligible children are not available through every dentist practice. You’ll have to check with your dentist if their practice offers this service.
3. Who is eligible for New Zealand’s public healthcare system?
You may be eligible for subsidised or free health care under the public system if you are:
- A New Zealand citizen or permanent resident or resident, although some exceptions do apply; or
- A work visa holder who is allowed to work in New Zealand for two years or more; or
- The holder of a work visa that allows you to work in New Zealand for two years or more when combined with time spent in the country just before getting your current work visa; or
- Under 17 and your parent or guardian is eligible; or
- An interim visa holder who was eligible immediately before you got the interim visa; or
- A refugee or protected person.
There is a chance that you’ll still qualify for public healthcare despite not meeting any of the requirements above. Please get advice from your immigration advisor or consult the Ministry of Health’s website.
4. Is private healthcare also available in New Zealand?
Yes, New Zealand does have private healthcare facilities. You’ll have to pay for healthcare services at these facilities yourself as the New Zealand government does not subsidise or pay for private healthcare services.
It is important to note, however, that you must be eligible for public healthcare in order to be allowed to take out private health insurance.
The benefits of private health insurance is that it allows you to decide how much cover you want and the type of services you want cover for. Private health insurance also means you can go to the doctor, specialist or hospital of your liking.
To compare private health insurance policies, go to LifeDirect, a New Zealand insurance comparison website.
5. Can I count on New Zealand healthcare’s system to look after my children?
Most definitely! As mentioned earlier, eligible children under the age of 18 are entitled to free dental health care. That’s not the only way the healthcare system in New Zealand looks after your children though:
- From birth to the age of 5: All children in New Zealand qualify for a free health service called Well Child/Tamariki Ora. This service gives children access to a range of health checks and provides support and advice to new parents.
- Under the age of 13: All children younger than 13 are eligible for the following free medical services:
- Immunisations against serious diseases.
- Regular eyesight and hearing checks at school.
- Visits to the doctor. Not all GPs may provide free visits, so check with your GP first.
- Basic dentistry, as mentioned.
- Under the age of 17: Publicly-funded healthcare.
6. What do I do in the case of a medical emergency?
In the unfortunate case of a medical emergency, you can either dial 111 to request an ambulance or go to the closest hospital’s 24-hour emergency department. You can get more information about when to visit an emergency department on the Ministry of Health’s website.
If injuries are sustained due to an accident, the Accident Compensation Corporate (ACC) cover will take care of most of the costs.
7. How do I find a doctor?
The good news is that New Zealand have over 35,000 GPs, so you’re sure to find a doctor in your area. Simply go to the Healthpoint website and do a search by suburb, name or service. This website also gives information about services and common treatments offered by GPs as well as referral expectations.
It’s important to know that doctors usually give priority to people who live or work in their local area, so local is always best when picking a GP.
8. How do I find hospitals in my area?
New Zealand has both public and private hospitals. You can find a hospital in your area by doing a search on the Ministry of Health’s website. Click here for public hospitals and here for private hospitals.
Go to the Ministry of Health’s website for more on health care in New Zealand…
The New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has a comprehensive website where you’re sure to find the answers to any other questions you might have. You can find the website here: www.health.govt.nz
- Published in Family Immigration, FAQs - New Zealand Immigration
FAQs: Immigration to New Zealand
Do you have questions about immigration to New Zealand? We bet you do! That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of the questions we get most often and answer them for you.
Go ahead – bookmark this page immediately! Then start reading…
1. 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.
2. Do I have to use a New Zealand immigration advisor?
No, you’re under no obligation to make use of a New Zealand immigration adviser. You can do your visa application on your own if that’s what you’d like to do.
3. Which visa option should I choose?
The visa option which is going to be best for you and your family is dependent on your individual circumstances. Our suggestion is to complete an immigration assessment to see what visas are available to you. A licensed immigration advisor will go through all the different visa options with you to find your best route to New Zealand.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Can I apply for a New Zealand work visa without a job?
The majority of people who want to live and work in New Zealand applies for either a skilled migrant visa or an accredited employer work visa. You must have a job offer to apply for either of these visas.
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.
7. 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.
8. Is it possible to find work without visiting New Zealand?
It is possible but it might not be easy. Many employers still prefer to meet with candidates face to face. Our suggestion is to work with professional New Zealand recruiters to market you to employers. This approach will improve your chances of signing a job contract.
With that being said, you should be open to travelling to New Zealand to attend job interviews. If you do work with a recruiter, he or she might be able to schedule a couple of interviews over the same time period. You’ll have to have the right visa though! This is the Look See Decide visa and you can read more about it on our website.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Where is the best area in New Zealand to live?
The answer will be the same no matter where in the world you live – this is entirely dependent on your family’s individual preferences. The type of lifestyle which you may enjoy may be very different to that of other families.
The best way to find the perfect area for you is to learn as much as you can about each area. Find out where you will be working and plan your ideal lifestyle around the area that you will need to commute to each day.
12. 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.
13. Can I bring my pets with me to New Zealand?
Yes, it is possible to take pets with you to New Zealand. It is important to note though that some breeds are not allowed into New Zealand. Furthermore, your pets might have to undergo a quarantine period. Your pets must also have certain vaccinations to enter the country.
14. 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.
15. 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 about immigration to New Zealand here?
Then head on over to our blog where we cover a multitude of topics across several categories. You can also book a consultation call online or give us a call on +27 (0) 21 202 8200.
- Published in FAQs - New Zealand Immigration, New Zealand Immigration Advice
FAQs: Education In New Zealand
As a parent looking to migrate, it’s only natural that you have a million questions about education in New Zealand.
Let us start by telling you that New Zealand prides itself on an education system that is world-class, modern and responsive. It’s not just talk either. Expat parents rate New Zealand’s education system as the fifth best in the world!
To help you understand exactly how schooling works in New Zealand, we’re going to answer 13 questions that every parent asks.
1. At what age should my child start school?
Going to school is compulsory for New Zealand children from the ages of 6 to 16. Parents are allowed to already send their children to primary school at the age of 5, but by the age of 6 children must be enrolled to start their schooling.
2. What are the different school phases?
New Zealand’s school system is divided into three phases:
- Secondary (or high school)
As explained above, your child must enter primary school by the time he or she is 6 years old. If your child is at a full primary school, he or she will complete Year 1 to Year 8 at the school. He or she will then continue on to secondary school for Year 9 to Year 13.
However, if your child is at a contributing primary school, he or she will complete Year 1 to Year 6 at the school. He or she will then go to an intermediate school for Year 7 and Year 8 before continuing on to secondary school at Year 9.
What is the difference between a full primary school and contributing primary school?
Full primary schools offer all primary school years, from Year 1 to Year 8, while contributory primary schools only offer Year 1 to Year 6. Contributing primary schools are more common but your child will get the same high standard of education no matter which type of primary school he or she attends.
3. What are the different types of schools in New Zealand?
New Zealand has state schools, state-integrated schools and private schools:
State schools are schools owned and funded by the government. Education is free in these schools for domestic children, but parents normally have to still pay for things like uniforms, stationery, exam fees and, in some case, extra-curricular and sports activities.
Your child will be deemed a ‘domestic’ student if they:
- are a New Zealand resident, permanent resident or citizen; or
- hold a student visa based on your temporary work visa.
State-integrated schools are school with a ‘special character’. This means the school is either run by a particular religious faith or use specialist education methods, like Montessori.
Education in state-integrated schools is also funded by the government, but these schools normally charge ‘attendance dues’ fees to help maintain the school.
Private schools are not funded by the government. Instead these schools charge set fees for the term or year. You’ll find some private schools are co-ed, while others are single sex schools for either boys or girls.
4. What is the learning environment like?
Getting an education in New Zealand means a child is taught through practical and theoretical learning, with students encouraged to think creatively, independently and analytically. Personal, focused attention is usually guaranteed, thanks to relatively small class sizes.
5. Does New Zealand have a school zoning system?
Yes, New Zealand does have a school zoning system. These school enrolment zones stop schools from getting overcrowded, and give children who live in the school area, or zone, a guarantee that they can go to their local school.
You can read more about school zones on our blog.
6. When are the school terms?
The school year is split into four terms commencing in late January through to mid-December. There is a 2-week holiday after each of the first three terms. At the end of the year there is a 6-week holiday instead.
- 1st Term: Late January to mid-April.
- 2nd Term: Late April to early July.
- 3rd Term: Mid July to late September.
- 4th Term: Mid October to mid-December.
7. How long is a school day?
The New Zealand school day usually starts at 9am and last until 3pm or 3.30pm.
8. How do I enroll my child in a school?
It is best to contact your local school to find out what the enrollment process is. Please be aware that you might need to provide evidence of your child’s visa status as part of the process.
9. What happens if we move to New Zealand in the middle of the school year?
Your child can enroll in school at any time during the year to continue their schooling. The school will place your child in a Year that corresponds with their age. For instance, if your child is 8 years old, he or she will most likely be placed in either Year 3 or Year 4 with other 8 year-olds.
10. How do I find schools in my area?
The Ministry of Education has an online tool that helps you find and choose schools in your neighbourhood. You can access this tool on the Ministry’s website. The Ministry also helps you by suggesting some things to consider when deciding on a school. You can also find these on their website.
11. Are school buses or public transport available to take my child to school?
It is not always possible for parents to drop their children at school or to pick them up in the afternoon. Thankfully, it is safe for children to walk or ride their bicycle to school. Despite this some schools still offer school buses.
Many children also make their way to and from school in a ‘walking school bus’. This is an organized and supervised group walking to school together. It’s a great way for children to meet other kids their age in their neighbourhood!
12. May I homeschool my children?
Yes, you may but you’ll have to apply to the Ministry of Education for a Certificate of Exemption from enrolment at a registered school. To get the exemption you’ll have to satisfy the Ministry’s requirement that your children will receive lessons regularly and at the same standards as they would have received at a school.
You can rest assured that your child will receive a quality education in New Zealand. Should you need help with a study visa for your child, or your own visas, please do not hesitate to contact us for expert advice and assistance.
- Published in Family Immigration, FAQs - New Zealand Immigration
FAQs: New Zealand Entrepreneur visa
The New Zealand entrepreneur visa, a New Zealand work visa, is ideal for anyone who prefers to run the show instead of reporting to a boss.
That’s because, as the name suggests, this visa enables holders to either buy into or establish a new business in New Zealand.
Sounds like the emigration route for you? Then continue reading, as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the entrepreneur visa.
Does the entrepreneur visa offer permanent residency?
Yes, it does, in a two-part process:
- Entrepreneur work visa.
- Entrepreneur residency visa.
How long is the entrepreneur work visa valid for?
The entrepreneur work visa is a 3-year visa that’s split into two stages:
- The Start-up Stage: This is an initial 1-year period during which you have to set up or buy into a New Zealand business.
- The Balance Stage: This is a further 2-year period that’s granted, provided you can prove that you’ve established your business.
What are the requirements for an entrepreneur work visa?
You must be able to show four important things to be eligible for a New Zealand entrepreneur work visa:
- Capital: You must have a minimum of NZ$100,000 to invest in your business, which excludes working capital. Should your business be in the IT or science sectors, you may apply for a waiver.
- Business plan: You must submit a comprehensive business plan with your application to Immigration New Zealand that your business can succeed and will add value to New Zealand.
- Good business character: Immigration New Zealand will review any instances of business failure, fraud, and bankruptcy in your past to determine the standard of your business character.
- Points: You must score at least 120 points in your assessment.
Can my family join me in New Zealand?
Yes, accompanying family members, i.e. your partner as well as dependent children, aged 19 and younger, can be included in your New Zealand entrepreneur visa application.
It’s important to note here that everyone included in the application must be able to meet New Zealand’s health, character and English language requirements.
When can I apply for residency?
You can apply for an Entrepreneur residency visa if and when you have:
- Completed 6 months of self-employment in New Zealand; or
- Operated a business for two years on another visa that allows self-employment.
What are the requirements for residency?
You’ll again have to meet capital, business plan, and business character requirements:
- Capital: The capital invested must be at least equal to that stated in your business plan. If you have not completed two years self-employment, the requirement would be a NZ$500,00 investment as well as three jobs created.
- Business plan: You must be able to demonstrate that your submitted business plan has achieved the benefits it outlined.
- Business character: You must have a 25% shareholding in a profitable business, running for at least 6 months, which was set up or purchased by you.
In addition, since you have now been running a business for some time, you must be able to prove that your business has been contributing to New Zealand’s economy in the following ways:
- Introduced or enhanced new technology, management or technical skills.
- Introduced or enhanced new products or services.
- Created or expanded export markets.
- Created at least one full-time job for a New Zealander, or three jobs if you’ve been in business for less than 2 years.
- Provided new skills, networks, management capability and/or capital and, as a result, increased an existing business’s financial performance.
What requirements should my family meet?
You and your family must again be able to meet Immigration New Zealand’s health, character and English language requirements.
How do I know if I qualify for a New Zealand entrepreneur visa?
This is the most important question to ask since you won’t be able to lodge an application without those 120 points we mentioned.
You could do an online assessment yourself, but we suggest working with a licensed immigration adviser – especially for this visa.
Want to work with us? Then book a consultation call today. Our licensed advisor will get in touch to explain the process to you. Good luck!
- Published in FAQs - New Zealand Immigration
FAQs: Joining your partner who’s on a New Zealand Work visa
You have come to the right place if you have unanswered questions about how to join your partner in New Zealand if he or she has a work visa.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve done some research or none, you’ll find the answers you’re looking for right here:
- What visa do I apply for?
- How does INZ qualify a ‘partner’?
- How do we prove our partnership is ‘genuine’?
- Is there any other qualifying criteria?
- When do I make my visa application?
- Does this visa allow me to work?
- Can I add our dependent children to my visa application?
Let’s begin at the start…
1. What visa do I apply for?
If your partner has been granted a work visa or is in the process of applying for a work visa, you’ll apply for a partner visa based on their visa status.
2. How does INZ qualify a ‘partner’?
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) define a partnership as:
- Two people (either same sex or opposite sex),
- Who live together in a genuine and stable relationship in any of the following:
- Legal marriage.
- Civil union.
- De facto relationship.
Does your relationship tick the boxes? Congratulations! You’ve passed the first test.
3. How do we prove our partnership is ‘genuine’?
INZ will ask a number of questions to establish the nature of your partnership. These questions include:
- How long have you been together?
- How long have you been living together as a couple?
- Do you support each other financially?
- How do you share financial responsibilities?
- Do you share a property or own a property together?
- Do you have children?
- Do other people recognise your relationship?
The more proof you can provide in answer to these questions, the stronger your case will be.
4. Is there any other qualifying criteria?
Yes, there is. The most important is that you and your partner:
- Must be 18 years or older. If you are 16 or 17 years old, consent is required from parents or guardians.
- Must have met each other before applying for a visa based on your partnership.
- Cannot be close relatives.
You must also know that your partner won’t be eligible to support your visa, or a subsequent residence application, if they have supported:
- More than one previous residency application.
- A successful residence application for a previous partner in the last 5 years.
- A previous partner in a successful residence application in the last 5 years.
- Or have been included as a partner in a successful residence application the last 5 years.
5. When do I make my visa application?
The partner of a New Zealander work holder visa application can be made at the same time as the work visa application.
In fact, the norm is to do it this way so that both partners can travel to New Zealand together.
6. Will I be allowed to work?
Yes, you can work in New Zealand on this visa. The option to work is also an open one as your visa won’t be specific to a single employer.
7. Can I add our dependent children to my visa application?
No, dependents cannot be included. However, dependents may make an application for a visa in their own right. As an example, dependent children of school-going age can apply for a dependent child student visa.
Want to apply? Then you should contact us
Intergate Emigration has helped many couples successfully migrate to New Zealand.
Let us do the same for you. You can speak to our licensed advisor by booking a consultation call.
Our advisor will assess you against all the requirements and help with your application.
- Published in Family Immigration, FAQs - New Zealand Immigration
New Zealand Student Visa
The New Zealand education system is one of the best in the entire world. People from all over the globe come to New Zealand to study.
New Zealand is known for its high levels of education and its top universities. There are many reasons and benefits to choosing to study in New Zealand.
If you wish to study in New Zealand it is going to prove worth your while to learn everything which can with regard to the New Zealand student visa.
Choosing to study in New Zealand is one of the best life decisions you can make, because employers all over the world hire employees not only from internationally recognised universities but also from reputable New Zealand universities.
Here are some vital answers to some commonly asked questions with regard to the New Zealand student visas:
What is a student visa for New Zealand?
A student visa for New Zealand means that you are legally allowed to study in the country of New Zealand. You are allowed to study for a set time at a specified studying institution. Obtaining a student visa for New Zealand also makes provisions for you to be able to study as a full time student.
How long can I stay in New Zealand on a student visa?
You are entitled to stay in New Zealand for a period of up to four years on a New Zealand student visa.
Am I allowed to work while I am studying in New Zealand?
You will be allowed to work for up to twenty hours a week. However, you will be allowed to work full time during all scheduled holidays and holiday periods.
Note that there are no restrictions on work rights for PhD and Masters Research students.
Can I obtain a New Zealand student visa if I wish to study part time?
Unfortunately you will need to study full time in order to be eligible for a student visa. Although you may be able to study part time on a visitor’s visa.
There are certain requirements that you will need to meet. You will need to be coming to New Zealand for up to nine months only. Your education provider will need to be approved to accept international students by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. You will also need to prove that you have paid the tuition fees in full. In addition, you will need to meet certain visitor requirements.
You could also be eligible to study part time should you be in the final semester of a studying programme which gives you a New Zealand qualification which qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant visa category.
Does everybody need to apply for a student visa?
There are specific types of students who are exempt from having to apply for a student visa.
This includes citizens of Australia, holders of New Zealand residence class visas and holders of current Australian permanent residence.
Do I have to have medical insurance while studying in New Zealand?
Yes you will need to have both appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while you are studying in New Zealand. This is a strict requirement of the Ministry of Education’s Code of Practice.
Please note that students are not eligible for publicly funded health services. Although, students who are covered by New Zealand’s reciprocal health agreements with the United Kingdom and Australia may be eligible.
Where do I apply if I want to study in New Zealand?
It is imperative to understand, that all the major and reputable education providers in New Zealand are registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
It is always a requirement for a New Zealand student visa that the education provider which you intend to study with is properly and fully registered with them.
This is where you will need to apply to study.
What do I do if I need help with the New Zealand student visa?
If you need help with your New Zealand student visa than it is going to be within your best interest to contact a fully licensed and registered New Zealand immigration adviser.
Dealing with a reputable immigration agency is going to strongly increase your chances of your student visa being successful.
- Published in FAQs - New Zealand Immigration
Visitors visa for New Zealand
Prior to visiting New Zealand, it is important to find out if you need a visitor’s visa. If you are planning on visiting New Zealand, but you do not intend to study or work, then you may need to apply for a visitor’s visa for New Zealand.
Do I need a visitor’s visa for New Zealand?
If you are not from a visa-waiver country, then you will need to apply for a visitor’s visa for New Zealand. A visitor’s visa could be applicable even if you are simply travelling through New Zealand, where an application for a transit visa may be required.
What are the requirements for a visitor’s visa for New Zealand?
You will need to meet the following requirements:
• Be in a good health
• Be of good character
• A visitor visa needs to fit your purpose for coming to New Zealand
• You need to be a bona fide temporary visitor
What are the passport requirements?
You will be required to provide your passport with your application. The passport has got to be valid for a minimum period of three months, past the date which you intend to leave for New Zealand.
Alternatively it needs to be one month past the date you intend to leave if the government issuing your passport has consular representation in New Zealand.
Proof that you plan to leave New Zealand
You will be required to show visible proof that you fully intend to leave New Zealand within the required period of time.
There are various ways that proof can be shown. You could for example, show travel tickets or even provide written confirmation from a travel agency that shows and proves that your travel has been booked on a specified date to leave the country.
Proof of funds
You will need to be show proof of funds. This serves to ensure that you have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay in New Zealand.
You will need to have a minimum amount of the following:
NZ$1000 per person per month of the visit, or
NZ$400 per person per month if accommodation has already been paid for. (You will need to provide proof of this)
Funds can be in the form of the following:
• Travelers’ cheques
• Bank drafts
• Recognised credit cards with sufficient credit available
• A declaration by a sponsor meeting certain requirements will also be accepted
Who isn’t eligible for a visitor’s visa for New Zealand?
People who do not meet the above requirements are not eligible for a visitor’s visa for New Zealand. In addition criminals are not allowed into New Zealand under any circumstances.
Please note that if your application is incomplete when you submit it and if you provide information which is false, your application can be refused.
It is highly recommended that you have comprehensive medical insurance for the full duration of your visit. If you are fortunate enough to be coming from the United Kingdom or Australia you will receive the same medical coverage as a New Zealand citizen, due to reciprocal health agreements.
How long can I stay in New Zealand?
The easiest way to calculate how long you (holiday makers) can stay is:
• Look at your intended date of departure from New Zealand
• Count back 18 months from this date
• You can stay no more than 9 months during this period.
• There is a possible exception to this where you are considered a genuine visitor / tourist whereby after 9 months you may apply for a further 3 months to complete your travels.
I want to apply for a New Zealand visitor’s visa
If you wish to apply for a New Zealand visitor’s visa, book a consultation call with our licensed advisor for assistance.
We have the knowledge, expertise and professionalism to be able to assist you with all your New Zealand immigration visitor and immigration needs.
- Published in FAQs - New Zealand Immigration