New Zealand Visa Types

People may have totally different purposes for travel to New Zealand, but there is a thing that is common for most of them - the necessity to obtain a visa. Some lucky ones can enter New Zealand visa-free or get electronic travel authorization via an online application, but others need to apply for a particular visa type.

There are various visa categories appropriate for different situations, purposes, and time duration. Citizenship also has a significant role in determining which type of visa to New Zealand a traveler is eligible for.

According to the length of stay, New Zealand visas can be divided into two types - resident and temporary categories. Each category has its subtypes, conditions, and requirements.

New Zealand Resident Visas

Residence visa is needed for those people who intend to stay in New Zealand for a long time or forever and have the ability to work and study.

There are several visa options for a residence visa: skilled migrant category, business and investor visa, family visa, retirement visa, employees of a relocating business visa, and residence from work.

Skilled Migrant Category

A visa for the skilled migrant category permits people with a professional background to live, study and work in New Zealand, as well as include their partner and dependent children aged 24 and under.

It is based on a points system, where points are rewarded for qualifications, work experience, age, skilled employment, partner qualifications, etc. To be eligible, an applicant must earn a minimum of 160 points. The number of points to be selected depends on the quality of the competing candidates.

Business and Investor Visa

Business and investor visa is for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business or invest their funds in New Zealand.

To be granted this type of visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Fit and proper person requirement
  • English language requirement
  • Health and character requirement

Family Visa

You can apply for a family visa if your situation can be included in one of the following categories:

  • Partnership
  • Parent Retirement
  • Parent
  • Dependent Child
  • Sibling and Adult Child (to 16/05/2012)
  • Inter-country adoption

Retirement Visa

Retirement visa is designed for people who reached the age of retirement and want to stay in New Zealand as a retiree. There are two visa options:

  • The Parent Category is a genuine residence category for those having children who are New Zealand residents or citizens and obtain the minimum required income;
  • The Temporary Retirement Category is an extended visitor visa for up to 2 years for those who are 66 and over and have a required sum to invest in New Zealand, maintenance funds to live on, and decent annual income.

Employees of a Relocating Business Visa

Employees of a relocating business visa is for employees of a business relocating to New Zealand. Holders of this visa category can live, work, and study in the country and bring their partner and dependent with them.

To be eligible for this type, the business must be contributing to the economic growth of New Zealand, and the applicant must be a key employee of that business.

Residence from Work

Residence from work visa can be granted to people whose talents are needed in New Zealand and who hold one of the following work visas:

  • Talent (Accredited Employers) visa
  • Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) visa
  • Long-term skill shortage list visa
  • Religious worker visa
  • South Island Contribution visa

New Zealand Temporary Visas

New Zealand temporary categories of visas are given to visitors, students, and workers who genuinely want to have a temporary stay in New Zealand and don't intend to remain in the country unlawfully.

Work Visa

Work visa is given to those willing to work during their stay in New Zealand.

It is possible to choose between the following options:

  • the skilled stream - for work to residence, essential skills, specific purpose, and for students/trainees;
  • the family stream - the family stream - for partners of citizens and residents of New Zealand and holders of long-term business visa and work visa;
  • the international/humanitarian stream - for humanitarian and international obligations and work on a reciprocal basis;
  • the special work stream - for horticulture and viticulture seasonal work visas, foreign crew of fishing vessels visas, religious worker visas

Entrepreneur Work Visa

Entrepreneur visa allows people to work in their own business for up to 3 years in total.

Applicants must have a business plan, obtain NZD 100,000 to invest, and claim 120 points on the New Zealand points scale.

Visitor Visa

Visitor type gives an opportunity to explore New Zealand, visit family and friends, study for a short time, or attend a job interview. It lets stay for up to 9 months.

People from visa waiver countries can travel to New Zealand for the same purposes without a visa - but must hold an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority). 

Student Visa

Student visa permits to study in New Zealand for more than 3 months. It is issued for the same length of time as the paid duration of the paid study.

Depending on visa conditions, an applicant may work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying or full-time during the holidays.

Guardian of a Student Visitor Visa

Guardian of a student visitor visa is for one parent or legal guardian caring for the child under 18 on a student visa.

This visa stays effective for the same time as the student visa of the accompanied child.

Post-study Work Visas

Post-study work visa allows people who recently finished their studies to work for any employer in almost any work in New Zealand.

Its holders can stay in the country for up to three years, depending on their qualifications.

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