A variety of visas exist in New Zealand to allow people to reach its shores to visit, study, work and join family members who have already made the move. Specific rules are in place, so the support of a Licensed Immigration Adviser can help you navigate your options, saving time and money and helping to make choices that benefit your future.

Work Visa

Occupations in New Zealand are classified based on four different lists:

  • Long Term Skill Shortage list (LTSSL)
  • Immediate Skill Shortage list (ISSL)
  • Canterbury Skill Shortage list (CSSL)
  • Skill Level Classification

If your occupation is on any of the above lists, then you may have a chance to apply for a work visa in New Zealand, under a Temporary or Permanent pathway.

The most common temporary work visa is the Essential Skills Work Visa, available to those migrants who receive a job offer from a New Zealand Business for a full-time position. The required Job must belong to the Skill Level Classification list, meaning it must be a job that appears in ANZSCO as a level 1 to 5. The employer must demonstrate that no local worker is available to perform the job and guarantee a salary above certain thresholds:

  • ANZSCO level 1-3 AND paid at or above $24.29 per hour ($50,523 per year based on a 40 hour week) OR
  • ANZSCO level 4-5 AND paid at or above $36.44 per hour ($75,795 per year based on a 40 hour week)

When the job is on either the ISSL or the CSSL, particular arrangements are in place to allow for a faster processing. Applicants are required to demonstrate adequate qualification and skills to perform the job and depending on their field of expertise they will receive a visa for 1, 3 or 5 years.

Some factors like your skills, qualification and experience will determine how many points you score towards the Skilled Migrant Expression of Interest. At present, if you score at least 160 points, you may be selected to apply for a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, that is a permanent visa allowing a holder to live and work permanently in New Zealand.

If you receive an employment offer for a job on the LTSSL and meet the relevant criteria, you may be granted a Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa valid for 30 months. After 24 months of employment you may transition to permanent residency through the Work to Residence Visa.

As you can see, the working visa options in New Zealand are not a black and white choices. The lists generate a variety of options and to access each stream you may need a qualification assessment from the New Zealand Qualification Authority. Get in touch with our Licensed Immigration Adviser to evaluate your eligibility for New Zealand Skilled Visas.

Family Visa

Partners and dependent children can join their family in New Zealand in most cases. This can happen through different scenarios:
  • people who are in a relationship with or children of a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • applicants who are family of a New Zealand Work Visa holder
  • parents who wish to rejoin with their children who migrated to New Zealand
  • families who want to visit New Zealand

Depending on the specific visa, family members may be able to apply at the same time as the main visa applicant. In other cases, they must make a subsequent application.

For partners, it is essential that a genuine and stable relationship is established, meaning a relationship where cohabitation, financial sharing, social recognition and mutual commitment is easily identifiable with supportive evidence. Partners can be married, or part of a civil union or in a de facto relationship. Are you in a same sex couple? No worries! You will have to demonstrate to be part of a civil partnerships or de facto relationship.

The Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa is the right application for a person who is in a stable relationship with a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident. Alternatively, a specific set of visas cover all most common circumstances:

  • Partner of a Student – Work visa: if the main visa holder is a student seeking to qualify on the Long Term Skill Shortage List or in a post-graduate qualification
  • Partner of a Worker – Work visa: if the main visa holder is a work visa holder and can support you. The support is not accessible to some visa holders, for example Essential Skills Visa Holder with a lower skilled occupation unless exceptions apply

Children can join their family in New Zealand if they are dependent on their parents. Dependency is established through age (24 years old max), financial reliance and family composition (the child must be single and must not have children on its own).

It is easy to get confused with so many avenues available and it is important to get it right to avoid frustration and separation from your loved ones. Trust a professional and maximise your success, get in touch today.

Student  Visa

Education system for international students is attractive in New Zealand. Additionally, many courses completed in New Zealand may lead to obtain permanent residency through the Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted or Open), that lets you mature work experience (and maybe points) towards a Skill Resident Visa.

Only certain institutes are accredited to enrol international students, so be careful and look for Pathway Education Providers that can issue a valid enrolment offer. We partner with reputable education agencies that can assist your enrolment with these authorised institutes.

The visa can last up to 5 years and during this period you can study up to 3 qualifications. Not only you can study and enjoy the life in New Zealand, but you are also provided with the right to work part time (20 hrs week) while the course is in session, and unlimited hours when you are off from school because of breaks and holidays. It is important to demonstrate your commitment through regular attendance and satisfactory progression, or your visa may be cancelled.

Book a consultation to speak with our Licensed Immigration Adviser and discuss your goals!

Working Holiday Visa

Working Holiday Visa programs in New Zealand work differently depending on the applicant’s Country of passport. The main difference is that some nationalities are subjected to quota and applicants need to present their request quickly if they hope to receive the visa. Opening days of each program are advertised annually.

Working Holiday Visa is the ideal solution for young people (18-30 yrs old) who want to experience New Zealand accessing a wide range of benefits, such as the right to travel, to study and to work – although with some restrictions. These visas are valid for 12 months and if you commit to work for at least 3 months in the horticulture or viticulture industry you may extend your stay of an extra 3 months.

Think about a gap year between studies for example, or a journey rich of anecdotes to share on your travel blog! For some, the programs also represent a way to make important work contacts.

To have a dedicated adviser that will work carefully to prepare a successful application, contact us as soon as you think to travel!

Visitor Visa

There are mainly two different types of Visitor Visas:

  • a free visitor visa, granted o arrival at a New Zealand airport, for citizens of certain Countries (Visa Waiver Countries)
  • a regular Visitor Visa that allows people from non-waiver Countries to enter New Zealand and perform tourism activities for up to 9 months.

Tourism activities are for example visit family and friends, perform amateur sport activities and in general enjoy New Zealand’s amazing sceneries. If you feel like, you can also study up to 3 months without the need to apply for a proper student visa. Maybe is time to take that English course you have been thinking about for so long!

Remember that not all visas can be applied for online, so better to check your options with an expert before ruining your holiday. Book an appointment and let us guide you!