Immigration News

How does the NZ immigration system work?

Want to immigrate to NZ

Who can immigrate to New Zealand?

The immigration system is run by a Government Department known as Immigration New Zealand or INZ.

The immigration system is looking to attract permanent migrants that can help meet demands for skills in New Zealand’s labour market, and investors or entrepreneurs who have capital to invest in the NZ economy or people who have a family or relationship connection.

Temporary visas are granted for workers, students, visitors and young people looking to do a working holiday.

Immigration New Zealand uses systems to evaluate if a migrant has enough of the desired attributes to qualify for the type of visa they are seeking.

What can go wrong with a visa application?

Immigration policies can be complex and difficult to follow, with some rules quite ambiguous.

The average Immigration Officer is often processing large numbers of applications at once, and they do not advise you on the suitability of your application before processing your fee. So, it is your responsibility to prove to your Immigration officer that you meet the criteria for the visa you are applying for.

The average cost of a resident visa application ranges between $1000 to $4000 or more (taking in to account Government visa application fees, the costs of medicals, and charges for obtaining police clearances and translations) so it makes sense to figure out if your eligible before you apply.

How do I know what visa to apply for?

The first step in any visa application is to assess the basic criteria and categories available to you.

If you are looking to visit or work on a working holiday, then it is straightforward to apply for a visitor’s visa or working holiday visa. New Zealand has a range of visa options depending on whether you want to work here, study, invest or simply enjoy a visit.

Visas to work in New Zealand

You’re likely to need a job or job offer to apply for one of our resident or temporary work visas.

If you have specialist skills or work in an area of skills shortage, and have a qualification that is comparable to those that New Zealand employers are used to, you’ll find that there are great career opportunities for you here.

Working Holiday Visa

There are many reasons why New Zealand is favourite destination for young travellers. The landscape is beautiful, our urban centres are generally safe and the Kiwi people are friendly and welcoming. We’re travellers ourselves so know what it’s like to immerse yourself in a new country and culture.

Every year hundreds of young people apply for New Zealand working holiday visas, and spend a year or two working in New Zealand.

Eligibility and criteria

Working holiday visas are available to young people, usually aged 18-30, but 18-35 in a select few countries. They let you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you’re from the UK. You need to have a return ticket, or enough money to pay for one, and be coming mainly to holiday, with work being a secondary intention.

Skilled Migrant Visa

The Skilled Migrant Residence Visa Category uses a points system based on factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment to determine eligibility.

Student Visa

There are a range of visas that allow you to go to school, take a course, or do other training.  Some of these include the ability to work part time while you study.

How do you apply for residence and permanent residence in New Zealand?

If you’ve been a resident visa holder for 2 years or more, and can show a commitment to living in New Zealand you can apply for a Permanent Resident Visa. Once you have this you can come and go from New Zealand without the need to remain in New Zealand for set periods of time to maintain the residence status.

Looking for advice on what visa to apply for and help with your application?

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you with your visa application.