We answer your FAQs about immigration to New Zealand

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When you work in immigration you come across some questions again and again. That’s why we decided to answer these frequently asked questions in one place that’s easy to reference.

Go ahead – bookmark this page immediately! Then start reading…

Can anyone move to New Zealand?

No, it is not anyone who can move to New Zealand. You have to be eligible for a New Zealand visa in order to be able to immigrate to New Zealand.

Can I apply for a New Zealand work visa without a job?

To apply for a Skilled Migrant visa, you must have ‘an offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand’. For the Essential Skills Work visa, you’ll need a ‘written full-time job offer’.

Of course there are other visas that allow you to work, but these two visas are applied for most by people looking to work in New Zealand.

Often the next question people ask is “But how do I get a job without a visa?” Our advice is to start by finding out if you qualify for a work visa, then afterwards you can job hunt with confidence. It’s almost guaranteed that you’re more likely to get a job offer if an employer knows you do qualify for a visa.

We’ve written extensively about this process here.

Can I immigrate to New Zealand with a criminal record?

All visa applicants to New Zealand must be of good character, not pose a security risk and not threaten New Zealand’s international reputation.

To this end, New Zealand requires you to meet certain character requirements in order to get a visa.

You can’t get a visa if you:

  • Have ever been convicted of an offence for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more.
  • Have been convicted in the last 10 years of an offence for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or longer.
  • Are prohibited from entering New Zealand.
  • Have ever been removed, excluded or deported from any country.

To read more about New Zealand’s character requirements, go to Immigration New Zealand’s website.

Can I immigrate to New Zealand as a tiler/nurse/architect/etc?

You should do an immigration assessment to see if you can move to Australia in your occupation.

With that said, there are certain occupations in New Zealand that are in need of overseas talent. These occupations are listed on New Zealand’s skill shortage lists.

Please remember that your occupation appearing on a list is not a guarantee of getting a visa. You’ll still have to meet all the criteria attached to that occupation.

You can read more about working in New Zealand on our site.

What do I need to immigrate to New Zealand?

The most important ‘need’ is meeting the criteria for immigration to New Zealand. The basics criteria relates to age, health, and character. Other requirements range from being in the right occupation to getting enough points in your skills assessment.

The specific visa you qualify for will reveal whatever else you’ll need to immigrate. For example, the documentation to submit.

What are the costs to consider when moving to New Zealand?

There are various costs to consider if you want to immigrate to New Zealand. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Immigration New Zealand fees.
  • Immigration advisor fees, if you work with one.
  • Flights to get to New Zealand.
  • Relocation costs, including your household goods and pets.
  • Living costs. Check that your salary will be enough to cover all your needs and wants.

If you like to plan ahead, also consider these costs:

  • Housing – compare renting vs buying a home.
  • School fees, if you have children.
  • Banking costs.
  • Healthcare.
  • Buying a car, if you’re not shipping yours.

Where do I find jobs in New Zealand?

New Zealand has many job sites. Some are general while other industry specific. These are some of the most popular job sites:

Workhere and Working in New Zealand specifically caters for migrants, so you might want to start your search there.

What is the first step if I want to immigrate to New Zealand?

The first step is always an eligibility assessment to see if you qualify to live in New Zealand. Not only will the assessment show if you qualify for a visa, it will also detail the next steps to take.

While there are free online assessments available, it’s wise to get a licensed advisor to do your assessment. A licensed advisor is up to date on all regulations and knows which questions to ask.

You can read more here about why we recommend starting with an assessment.

How do I apply for an X visa for New Zealand?

People often want to know how to apply for a specific visa. The truth is that there’s no standard answer. Some people may have to do an English test as part of their application, while others don’t have to. Working with a licensed advisor is the best way to find what you requirements you have to meet.

Can my parents join us in New Zealand?

Yes, your parents are allowed to join you in New Zealand. This is provided your parents meet the requirements to do so. The parent visa options are:

  • Parent Retirement Resident visa
  • Parent and Grandparent Visitor visa

There is also the Parent Residency visa, but this visa is closed to new application until further notice.

Is it difficult to immigrate to New Zealand?

This is an extremely subjective question. What we can tell is that immigration to New Zealand does involve a lot of work and planning. Just like with immigration to any other country in the world!

But when you work with a licensed immigration advisor, you’ll make the process much easier on yourself. The advisor will guide you throughout the process and provide support every step of the way.

Didn’t see your burning question here?

Then head on over to our blog where we cover a multitude of topics across several categories. You can also email us or give us a call on either +27 (0) 21 202 8200 or +27 (0) 11 234 4275.

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