Want to know your New Zealand immigration options? Read this!

/ / New Zealand Immigration Advice

new zealand immigration optionsIt’s the question on the lips of many hopeful future New Zealanders – “What are my New Zealand immigration options?” Wonder no more! Today we’re going to tell you exactly what your options are by discussing these key immigration matters:

  • Residence options
  • Visa options
  • Application options

Let’s start at the beginning – your residence options.

Your residence options

New Zealand offers immigrants two residence options – temporary residence and permanent residence. Some visas grant permanent residence straightaway, others serve as a pathway to residence, and there are visas that only offer temporary residence.

Your individual situation will determine for which visa and type of residence you qualify, as all of New Zealand visas each has a unique set of requirements to meet.

You can read more about the visas that offer permanent residence here.

Your visa options

New Zealand has 6 categories of immigration visas:

1. Work

There are five visas that enable you to immigrate to New Zealand to live and work there:

  • Skilled Migrant visa: The skilled migrant visa is for individuals who meet certain requirements in terms of their profession, experience, skills and qualifications. If you’re granted this visa, you receive permanent residence.
  • Essential Skills Work visa: The essential skills work visa allows New Zealand employers to recruit workers from overseas. The essential skills visa is thus ideal if you have a job offer from a New Zealand employer.
  • Partner visa – if your partner is a New Zealander: This visa enables you to apply for residence if your partner or spouse is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. If granted, you’ll be entitled to live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely. In addition you can include dependent children, aged 24 and younger, in your visa application.
  • Partner visa – if your partner is a New Zealand work visa holder: If your spouse or partner has secured a job offer in New Zealand, you’re eligible to apply for a partner visa on the basis of your spouse or partner being your sponsor. If granted this visa, you’ll be able live in New Zealand. As a resident of New Zealand, you’ll also have the option to work.
  • Entrepreneur visa: The entrepreneur visa is for persons who want to work in their own business in New Zealand. In terms of what the visas allow, this could mean either buying into a company or setting up a new business. In both instances, you’ll be eligible for permanent residence.

2. Partner

New Zealand has three visas that enable you to join your spouse or partner in the country:

  • Partner visa – if your partner is a New Zealander: This visa enables you to apply for residence if your partner or spouse is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. If granted, you’ll be entitled to live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely. In addition you can include dependent children, aged 24 and younger, in your visa application.
  • Partner visa – if your partner is a New Zealand work visa holder: If your spouse or partner has secured a job offer in New Zealand, you’re eligible to apply for a partner visa on the basis of your spouse or partner being your sponsor. If granted this visa, you’ll be able live in New Zealand. As a resident of New Zealand, you’ll also have the option to work.
  • Partner of a Student Visitor Visa: This visitor visa enables you to join your partner in New Zealand during their studies. You’ll be able to explore the country as a tourist and also study but only for up to three months.

3. Relative

New Zealand appreciates that families don’t want to split up and thus offers five relative visas:

  • Parent Retirement Visa: The parent retirement visa enables you to join your adult child in New Zealand. As this visa grants permanent residency, you’ll be able to immigrate permanently. To be eligible to apply for the visa, you must be able to meet Immigration New Zealand’s financial requirements.
  • Parent Residency Visa: The parent residency visa enables you to join your adult child or grandchild in New Zealand provided he or she is a citizen or resident. Legal guardians are also eligible to apply. Unfortunately, you can’t apply if you have dependent children but you can include a partner in your application. Please note that the parent residency visa is closed to new applications until further notice.
  • Child of a Worker Visitor Visa: This visa is open to temporary work visa holders and allows you to bring your children with you while you work in New Zealand.
  • Dependent Child Student Visa: This visa is meant for the children of temporary work visa holders and it allows the child to attend school.
  • Child of a Student Visitor Visa: This visa allows foreign students to come to New Zealand and bring their dependent children with them.

4. Investor

You can invest in New Zealand through one of two visas:

  • Investor visa: The New Zealand investor visa requires an investment of at least NZ$1,5million for four years in New Zealand. You must be 65 years old or younger to apply for this visa.
  • Investor Plus visa: To apply for the investor plus visa, you must invest at least NZ$10million for a period of three years in New Zealand. There are no age restrictions on this visa.

5. Study

The study visa is for persons who want to study in New Zealand for longer than 12 weeks. Your partner and dependents can also accompany you to New Zealand by applying for a partner of a student visitor visa and child of a student visitor visa.

Your application options

When talking about your application options, we’re referring to how you choose to handle your application. Your options here are doing it on yourself or with the help of a licensed immigration advisor.

Doing your application on yourself

There is nothing that prevents you from completing your visa application on your own. Many people initially take this DYI route because they think applying for a visa to New Zealand is as easy as filling in a form.

This is not true, unfortunately.

For starters, most people can’t make heads or tails of the New Zealand points system. This leads people to rely on online points calculators only to realise much later that these tools aren’t accurate.

In general, the problem with online applications is that the programme you’re dealing with can’t ask you all of the questions that need to be asked. This means you’ll miss information or perhaps provide the wrong information. The reality is that the smallest of mistakes can be the difference between getting a visa and your application being rejected.

At the end of the day, taking this route will depend on two factors: how much patience you have, and whether or not you’re okay with risking a possible rejection of your application.

Applying with the help of an licensed immigration advisor

Your second option is to make use of a licensed immigration advisor. One of the benefits of this is that a proper licensed immigration advisor for New Zealand is knowledgeable, experienced and has studied. They do this for a living, which means that they have tons of experience in helping people just like you with visa applications.

Here are four specific examples of how working with a licensed immigration advisor can benefit you:

  • A licensed advisor can explore all your New Zealand immigration options with you. This person will leave no stone unturned to uncover any visas for which you are eligible.
  • Your advisor will know of regulation changes long before these changes become news. He or she will thus be able to course-correct immediately if necessary or offer alternatives should it no longer be possible to continue with your visa application.
  • A licensed advisor will be able to provide you with support, advice, encouragement and of course their expertise and knowledge which can prove invaluable.
  • Licensed advisors for New Zealand are registered with the IAA (Immigration Advisors Authority), which means advisors are held accountable by a professional body for the advice and service they give. This affords you peace of mind and comfort during a time that can be extremely difficult and stressful.

Recapping your New Zealand immigration options

When immigrating to New Zealand, there is the option of obtaining permanent or temporary residence. Although, which type of residence you can obtain does depend on your visa eligibility.

Further to this, there are six categories of visas. These visas give you the option to work, join a partner, join a relative, start a business, invest, or study in New Zealand.

Lastly, you have two options when it comes to how you do your application. Your first option is doing it yourself, which is only recommended if you have a lot of patience and don’t mind costly mistakes. The second option is working with a licensed immigration advisor. Doing this can benefit your application in numerous ways which could increase your chances of success. In other words, your chances of getting your visa.

Do you want to further discuss your options with a licensed immigration advisor?

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to get in touch with one of our licensed immigration advisors. You can call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200 or book an initial assessment online. This initial assessment will reveal any visa options that are open to you. It’s not going to cost you a cent – our initial assessment is free! It is also obligation free, so you have nothing to lose by doing it.

Get your FREE initial assessment here

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