New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category

If you and your family want to obtain permanent residency the Skilled Migrant Category is the best visa for you.

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In order to apply must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Points are awarded for employability and capacity building factors, including skilled employment, work experience, qualifications and age.

Once an applicant can claim 100 points and meets the prerequisites for health, character and English Language he/she may then lodge an EOI into the Skilled Migrant Pool. Please note that an applicant’s age must be 55 years or younger, in order to apply under this category.

EOIs are ranked on the basis of their points score, the INZ fortnightly determines a selection point and selects EOIs that meet or exceed the selection point. These EOIs will be selected for further consideration and may then be subsequently invited to apply for residency.

Once an applicant is invited to apply for residency he/she is then required to submit documents to the INZ to evidence that he/she can claim the points claimed in the EOI. It is at this stage the INZ complete a second tier assessment to determine whether or not the applicant has the ability to settle well in New Zealand. Usually those with a job offer, and provided that they meet all the requirements under the SMC, should be granted residency.

Case study: Read more about others who successfully applied for a visa in the skilled migrant category:

Those who do not have a job offer and are assessed as not being able to settle well in New Zealand will undergo further assessment and may be requested to attend a face to face interview. Depending on the INZ Immigration Officer’s assessment, these applicants may be either:

1) Granted residency or;

2) Granted a work to residence work visa, or;

3) Have their residence application declined.

New Zealand Partner Residency Visa

Partner residency visa new zealand

This category enables partners of New Zealand citizens and residents to apply for residency. In order to apply under this category you must meet all policy requirements, show that you and your New Zealand partner are in a genuine and stable relationship and have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship for at least the last 12 months.

You must also show that your relationship meets the minimum requirements for the recognition of a partnership, evidence that your partner is an eligible sponsor and meet all heath and character requirements.

Applicants must also meet character and health requirements.

New Zealand Parent Residency Visa

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parent residency visa new zealand

This category enables parents to join their children in New Zealand and is open to parents of an adult child (i.e. child over the age of 17) who is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

The Parent Category consists of two-tiers. In order to be eligible you must meet the requirements of one of the two tiers.

1) Tier one: You must have either

  • a guaranteed lifetime minimum income (e.g. pensions or superannuation payments); or,
  • bring at least NZ$ 500,000 of settlement funds to New Zealand; or,

Case Study: Read more about a couple who applied for residency under the parent visa:

  • a sponsoring adult child who has an annual income of at least NZ$ 65,000 by themselves or NZ$ 90,000 when combined with the partner’s income.

2) Tier two:

  • You must have a sponsoring adult child who meets the minimum income figure and, if you have any other children, they must all live lawfully and permanently outside your country of residence.

Applicants must also meet character and health requirements.

Work to Residence New Zealand Visa

work to residence visa new zealand

For those who do not want to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category or are not eligible, another pathway to apply for residency is to apply under one of the work to residence categories below:

1) Talent Visa (Accredited Employers);

2) Talent Visa (Arts, Sports and Culture); and,

3) Long Term Shortages List occupations Visa.

Unlike the Skilled Migrant Category, where you will be granted a resident visa once your resident visa is approved, you will need to work and live in New Zealand for two years until you are eligible for permanent residence. Amongst other criteria, applicants must show that they have met the conditions of their visa, will continue to work in New Zealand, and meet the English language, health and character requirements.

Your eligibility in most cases will depend on your skills set and whether or not your New Zealand employer is accredited.

Here's more information on the Work to Residence (Talent) visa.

If you obtain an offer of employment in New Zealand or if you are a partner of a New Zealand citizen or resident you may qualify for a work visa.

Work Visa

If you obtain an offer of employment in New Zealand you may qualify for a work visa under the Essential Skills policy.

new zealand construction jobs

A work visa offers applicants who have obtained an offer of employment in New Zealand the opportunity to work in New Zealand for the period of employment offered, up to a maximum period of up to five years, depending on your skills set.

Applicants must also prove that no New Zealand resident or citizen is available to do the work offered (Labour Market Test). All applicants and their dependents must also meet health and character requirements and apply separately from the main applicant.

If an applicant obtains an offer of employment in an occupation that is included on the current Immediate Skill Shortage List, Canterbury Skills Shortages List or the Long Term Skill Shortage List, Immigration New Zealand will accept that no suitably qualified New Zealand citizen or resident is available. Some employers have an Approval in Principle to employ non-New Zealand citizens or resident workers.

Online or paper based applications can be tendered to Immigration New Zealand.

Partners and Children

Partners and children of work visa holders can apply for a work visa based on partnership and student visas respectively. Partner and children will be granted visas for the same length as the work visa holder and will be entitled to work and study in New Zealand for the same period of time as the work visa holder.

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

If you are under the age of 31 years of age and your country has a working holiday scheme with New Zealand, you are able to pack you backpack and travel to New Zealand for a year on a Working Holiday. New Zealand’s Working Holiday Visa Scheme allows young nationals of certain countries to work in New Zealand on a temporary basis for up to 12 months in order to supplement their travels.

The Working Holiday Visa is a great way to have heaps of fun and to experience the New Zealand lifestyle. You will also meet other people on their travels and have the best time of your life. If you obtain a full time job offer whilst in New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa you may be in a position to convert into a Work Visa and remain in New Zealand beyond the currency of your Working Holiday Visa.

If you have any constructions skills, our strategic Partners, New Zealand Skills in Demand may be in a position to arrange an interview and job offer before you leave for New Zealand.

Read more about the requirements of applying for a Working Holiday Visa:

Case Study: Read more about how someone has used a Working Holiday Visa as a stepping stone to living permanently in New Zealand:

New Zealand has working holiday visa agreements with many other countries as well as the UK. To find out more click on a country.

If you are a UK or EU resident and are going to New Zealand on a Working Holiday or simply require Travel Insurance, Migration Cover would like to introduce you to our affiliate, Voyager Insurance, who can look after your travel Insurance requirements.

 For more information and a quote visit Voyager Insurance.

partner work visa new zealand

If you do want to apply for residency or you have not been living with your partner for 12 months you can apply for a temporary visa. This category is open to the partners of New Zealand citizens or residents. Once you can show that you have been a relationship with a New Zealand Citizen or resident, Immigration New Zealand may grant you a work visa that allows you to stay for up to a maximum of 12 months or 2 years.

Applicants must meet the character and health requirements.

New Zealand Investor Visa – Residency Visa

investor residency visa new zealand

New Zealand is a great place to be in business. The 2016 World Bank survey ranked NZ as the number two country for ease of doing business, second only to Singapore.

Immigration New Zealand’s migrant investment policy aims to attract applicants who want to live in New Zealand permanently and wish to make a significant financial contribution to NZ's economy. The Government’s investor policies shows a willingness to attract investors looking for a higher quality of life for themselves and their family.

There are two categories that exist, these are:

1)      Investor Plus - Investor 1 Category

  • This category requires applicants to invest NZ$10 million. This level of funds must then be transferred to New Zealand and invested in a suitable investment for three years.
  • Investor Plus applicants must spend at least 20% of their time in NZ in years two and three, and must show that the funds they possess have been legally acquired.
  • There is no age, business experience or English language requirements that need to be satisfied, however health and character requirements must be met.
  • There is no limit on the number of Investor 1 applicants.

2)      Investor - Investor 2 Category

  • This category requires applicants to have the ability to nominate funds or assets equivalent to at least NZ$1.5 million for investment funds, and NZ$1 million for settlement funds. Applicants must meet a minimum point's score to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and be invited to apply for residency. A minimum of 20 points must be achieved to submit an EOI and points are awarded for age (65 years or younger), business experience, English language and investment funds.
  • Applicants must be 65 years or younger.
  • Investor applicants must retain investment funds in an acceptable investment(s) for four years, and spend at least 40% of their time in New Zealand in years two, three and four.
  • All applicants must meet health, character and English language requirements. The principal applicant must also have at least three years' business experience.
  • A maximum of 300 Investor (Investor 2 Category) visas will be issued each year.
  • Both NZ investor visa categories detailed above can be successfully used as a vehicle to obtain residency outright for those applicants who have sufficient capital and who want to adopt a flexible and conservative investment approach.

It is important that all applicants obtain professional advice and are assisted with meticulous planning and careful consideration before applying for one of the above investor visas. Please call 01483 550920 if you would like to receive advice and guidance, we have experience in dealing with these types of applications and will be able to provide you with the assistance that is needed.

New Zealand Entrepreneur Work Visa

business visa new zealand

New Zealand is a great place to be in business. The 2016 World Bank survey ranked NZ as the number two country for ease of doing business, second only to Singapore.

The Entrepreneur Work Visa is for applicants who are interested in establishing a business in New Zealand or purchasing a business.

An Entrepreneur Work Visa is a three year work visa and there are two stages.

1)      Start-up stage:

Once approved, you will initially be given a 12-month work visa, enabling you to buy or establish your business in New Zealand.

2)      Balance stage:

This is for the remaining 24 months of your visa. You can be granted the balance of your Entrepreneur Work Visa once you have shown Immigration New Zealand that you have taken reasonable steps to establish and operate the planned business and for money required to establish the business has been transferred to NZ.

Entrepreneur Work Visa Requirements

In order to be approved for an Entrepreneur Work Visa, you must:

  • make a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000, unless this requirement is waived
  • meet or exceed 120 points for capacity building factors such as age, investment into New Zealand, previous business experience, or where your business will be based amongst others;
  • have a business plan specific to your proposed business
  • not been involved in bankruptcy or business failure within the 5 years preceding the date your application is made
  • not have been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety, and
  • meet our health and character requirements for residence and English language requirements

It is important that all applicants obtain professional advice and are assisted with meticulous planning and careful consideration before applying for one of the above Entrepreneur Work Visa visas.

Please call 01483 550920 if you would like to receive advice and guidance, we have experience in dealing with these types of applications and will be able to provide you with the assistance that is needed.

Entrepreneur Residence Category

Holders of the a Entrepreneur Work Visawho have successfully established a business may apply for a residence visa under the Entrepreneur Residence category after spending a minimum of 6 months or 2 years in New Zealand.

The Entrepreneur Work Visa and Entrepreneur Residence category can be successfully used together as a means to obtain residency for those applicants who have sufficient capital, possess business experience, high level management or business ownership experience and want to minimise their business investment. Immigration New Zealand will also have a strong emphasis on businesses which can show high growth, innovation and export potential.

It is important that all applicants obtain professional advice and are assisted with meticulous planning and careful consideration before applying for one of the above Entrepreneur Residence Visa.

Please call 01483 550920 if you would like to receive advice and guidance for this type of application, we have experience in dealing with these types of applications and will be able to provide you with the assistance that is needed. Usually these application would be applied onshore in New Zealand.

Dependent Child Residency Visa

dependent child residency visa new zealand

This category enables dependent children to join their parents in New Zealand. In order to apply under this category you must show that you meet all policy requirements, and ensure that your sponsor is an eligible sponsor. You may qualify if you are up to 24 years old, single, with no children of your own, and are fully dependent on your parents for financial support.

Applicants must meet the character and health requirements.

New Zealand Student Visa

New Zealand qualifications are recognised worldwide and international students are part of the social fabric of all New Zealand educational institutions.

student visa new zealand

If you are looking at enrolling in a New Zealand course which is longer than three months, it is most likely that you will be required to apply for a NZ student visa. Applicants must have an offer of a place in an approved course with an education provider in New Zealand that meets policy requirements, and be exempted from or have paid course fees. All applicants must also meet health and character requirements.

A New Zealand Student visa entitles you to be in the country for the duration of your course. If your course is longer than a year, you may be eligible to apply to work part-time for 20 hours a week.

Online or paper based applications can be tendered to Immigration New Zealand.