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 essential skills 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.