The Ultimate Guide to New Zealand Visas

There are many different types of New Zealand visas available for immigration and work purposes but knowing which one is needed to emigrate can be a confusing process. Luckily, we’re here to help. In this article, our currency experts here at Halo Financial have outlined the different types of New Zealand visas and how to apply for the visa you need. Here is everything you need to know about getting a New Zealand visa.


New Zealand Visa Requirements

If you are travelling to New Zealand from a visa waiver country, then you can visit without a visa. If you’re from a non-waiver country or are staying in New Zealand for a prolonged period, then you will need to have a valid visa to travel to and stay in the country. It’s important to note that although you might not need a visa, visitors from visa-waiver countries must request Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) before travelling to New Zealand. You may also have to pay an International Visitor and Tourism Levy (IVL). You’ll also need to ensure your passport is valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date.

How Long Does a New Zealand Visa Take to Process?

Remember to keep in mind that most student, work, and visitor visas can take up to eight weeks to process and can sometimes take even longer if more information is required. For this reason, it’s important to start the process of applying for your visa well in advance.

Which Countries Do Not Need a Visa for New Zealand?

You can travel to New Zealand without a visa if you are:

  • A New Zealand or Australian citizen or resident.
  • A UK citizen and/or passport holder. In this case, you can stay up to six months.
  • A citizen of a country that has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand. In this case, you can stay up to three months.

If you don’t meet the above criteria, you will need a visitor visa that allows you to holiday in New Zealand for up to nine months. You will also need to make sure your passport is valid for at least three months longer than your expected departure date before travelling.

Working Holiday Visas

The young person’s Working Holiday Scheme allows young adults (usually aged 18-30) to experience life in New Zealand whilst being able to take up employment during their stay. This visa allows you to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you’re from the UK.

To apply for this visa from the UK you will need:

·        A British passport that’s valid for at least three months after your planned date of departure.

·        To be aged between 18 and 30.

·        A return ticket or enough money to buy a return ticket.

·        To prove the main purpose of your visit is to holiday, with work being a secondary intention.

New Zealand Visa Types: Student Visas

There are a few types of visas that you can apply for when studying in New Zealand, and the right one will depend on the type of course that you are taking.

  • Student visa

If you’re studying a full-time course that is a duration of three months or longer, then you’ll want to apply for a student visa. Depending on the conditions of your visa, this could allow you to work up to 20 hours a week during term-time and full time over the holidays.

  • Visitor visa

If you’re taking a short course during your stay in New Zealand, then a visitor visa might be the option most suited to you. A visitor visa allows you to take one or more courses lasting up to three months in total.

  • Pathway student visa

If you’re planning to study more than one course in New Zealand, then the pathway student visa might suit your needs. Under this visa, you can study up to three consecutive courses for up to five years with one or more qualifying education providers.

Student Visa Requirements

To apply for your student visa, you’ll need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of an offer from an approved education provider
  • Evidence that you can afford your student fees and living expenses
  • Your passport and passport photos
  • A copy of your return flight ticket home, or evidence that you can afford a return ticket
  • Accommodation guarantee
  • Visa application fee
  • Medical certificate

New Zealand Visa Types: Working Visas & Staying Permanently

If you’re looking to go to New Zealand to work or move to the country permanently, you’ll need either a work visa or a resident visa. New Zealand’s work visas are available to those looking to work in New Zealand temporarily, perhaps with half an eye on becoming a permanent resident later. The country offers a wide range of different visa options depending on what you are looking for. Below are just some of the options that might be available to you.

Work to Residence Visa

This New Zealand visa is for people who have exceptional talents within certain fields. These skills must be approved by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). Alternatively, individuals must have obtained a job offer from a New Zealand employer. After a period of employment, they may become eligible to apply for permanent residency. The visa allows you to work temporarily in New Zealand initially for up to 30 months, and in due course apply for residence from work. This is a non-points-based system.

A passport with many stamps. New Zealand visa concept

Essential Skills Work Visa

If you have an offer of a job from a New Zealand employer, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary essential skills visa to enable you to take up that employment. This New Zealand visa comes in the form of an endorsement in your passport that entitles you to undertake paid employment while you are in New Zealand.

You must be of an acceptable standard of Health and Character and satisfy an Immigration Officer that you genuinely intend a temporary stay in New Zealand to work. You may then apply for a temporary work visa either from the UK if you have an offer of employment or from within New Zealand if you get a job offer after arriving there.

If you have family living as permanent residents in New Zealand or are in a long-term relationship with a New Zealander, then one of the following visas could be your passport to a new life in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

New Zealand Visa Types – Parent Visa

As the name of the category suggests, this stream is aimed at parents wishing to join their children in New Zealand. Applicants must express their interest in applying for New Zealand residence, and dependent on the requirements that they claim to meet, may subsequently be invited to apply. They must no longer have any dependent children, and one of their adult children must have been permanently resident in New Zealand for at least three years and be willing to sponsor them.

Applicants are required to demonstrate either a guaranteed lifetime income, funds of their own, or the sponsor will be asked to demonstrate they meet a minimum income level. Applying for this visa can be an extremely long process.

Parent Retirement Category

If people who meet the criteria for the Parent Category want to have their application expedited then they may wish to apply through the Parent Retirement Category. However, you will need deep pockets. Applicants must be able to invest a minimum of NZ$1 million in New Zealand over four years and have an annual income of at least NZ$60,000 at the time they apply, and settlement funds of at least NZ$500,000.

Partner Visas

The Partner Residence New Zealand Visa is open to de-facto, civil partnerships and married couples who are in stable, committed, and genuine relationships with a New Zealand citizen permanent resident. Applicants for this visa will need to be aged over 18 and be able to prove that they have been living in a committed relationship with their qualifying New Zealander partner for at least twelve months prior to applying.

New Zealand Visa Requirements – FAQs

To apply for a New Zealand visa, you must be able to prove that you have enough money to pay for your living costs, accommodation, and a return flight home once your visa runs out. This can be proven through receipts, bank statements, and other valid documentation.

You must have a passport that’s valid for at least six months from the time you arrive in New Zealand. You must have application forms that show the purpose of the visit and a return ticket home or enough money to pay for a return ticket.

If you have the correct documentation and start the process well in advance of your trip, then you shouldn’t have any difficulties applying for a New Zealand visa. The easiest way to complete your visa application is online. Some challenges you might face include limited visa spots or tight deadlines.

To get a visa to immigrate to New Zealand, you must have enough money in your bank account to pay for the visa application fee, your living costs, accommodation, and a return flight home once your visa runs out.

You do not need a visa to travel to New Zealand if you are going to be in the country for up to six months. Also, if you’re a citizen of a country that has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand, you can stay up to three months without a visa.

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