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Visas for New Zealand

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One of the most important aspects about moving from one country to the other is applying for a visa in order to legally access the country of destination. Here below, you will find information about some of the different visas one can apply for when emigrating to New Zealand. Since there are many visas for New Zealand which you can apply for, this text aims to explain the more common work visas and student visas.

As a UK national, you are not required to apply for a visa to visit New Zealand. You can stay up to six months without a visa in New Zealand. However, you should be able to meet the requirements of the immigration rules. For example;

  • You must have an outward ticket
  • A passport that is valid 3 months after you departure from New Zealand
  • Evidence you have the right to live permanently in UK
  • Sufficient money to support yourself during your stay in New Zealand

If you plan to stay longer than 6 months in New Zealand you must apply for a Visa before you depart to New Zealand. There are many types of visas you can apply for when you want to stay in New Zealand long term.

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Visa categories

New Zealand has different categories when it comes to the different types of visas. For example the Skilled Migration category may be interesting for expats who want to move to Canada for a few years on account of work. This category offers individuals the opportunity to emigrate to New Zealand as a way to facilitate or to contribute to the economic growth of the country. This would be done by helping boost the New Zealand skilled workforce.

There is also residence from work category. This category is a great way of using a temporary work visa to get a residence visa. There are 3 visas with which this is possible, but the first two temporary visas here below are the main ones:

  • Long Term Skill Shortage List work visa
  • Accredited Employer work visa
  • Essential Skills work visa under the Skilled Migrant Category

Application of a residence permit can be started after 24 months.

People who want to move to New Zealand are advised to check the skills shortage list since this can weight in heavily when applying for a work visa. There is a new essential skills policy that separates occupations into highly skilled and lower skilled levels. Moreover those applying for highly skilled visas may now be eligible for a temporary work visa that goes up to 5 years, as opposed to a permanent residency visa. You can also apply for three- year extensions of your permit, provided the need for you skill still exists at the time of application.

With your visa secured, streamline your New Zealand move with our expert guide.

Common visas for New Zealand

Here below, a few of the most common work visas and their main requirements are outlined. Therefore, Keep in mind that the visas may be or are subject to further requirements and conditions.

Visas for New Zealand

Student visas

There are different types of visas that students can apply for them, depending on age and the length of study. Some of the student Visas a UK national can apply for are the following:

  • Fee Paying Student Visa – for up to 4 years.
  • United Kingdom Working Holiday Visa – for up to 23 months, for age range 18 to 30.
  • Exchange Student Visa – for up to 4 years depending on the length of your exchange. Has to be an approved student exchange scheme.
  • New Zealand Aid Student Visa – for up to 4 years for a full time study, when you have a New Zealand Aid programme funding.
  • Student and Trainee Work Visa – depends on traineeship varies from 6 months till up to 4 years. for students who need to do practical work experience as a part of their study or training.
  • Pathway Student Visa – for up to 5 years. You will need to have an offer of place with a Pathway education provider and be able to pay your tuition fees.


Do you need a job offer to apply for a work visa?

The answer is yes, you do need a job offer in New Zealand to be able to apply for a work visa expect if you are applying under a special policy such as a visa to join your partner in New Zealand.

Do you need to have a job offer to apply for the ‘residence from work’ category?

Yes in most cases you do.

Do you need a job offer to apply for the skilled migrant category?

You do not need a job offer perse to apply for the skilled migrant category, although you may need the job offer to meet the points threshold which has been set for this category. The skilled migrant category uses a point system based on factors like the following:

  • Age
  • Work experience
  • Your qualifications
  • Offer of skilled employment