Passport & Visas

Do you want to work in New Zealand, study there, invest or simply visit the country and enjoy its world-famous sights? The country has for a fact offer a wide range of visa options that you can apply for.

All tourists traveling to New Zealand must hold a passport valid for a period with 3 months longer than they intend to stay. Tourists from some countries may travel to New Zealand without a visa but all tourists must have enough money to support themselves during their entire stay. Tourists with Australian returning residents visa or Australian citizenship can enter New Zealand without a visa. British citizens can stay up to 6 months without a visa.

Those who want to work in New Zealand must obtain a work permit and an offer of employment is required. There are reciprocal working holiday agreements with various countries to allow people (18 – 30 years old) to gain work permits without a prior job offer.

Different Types of Visa

Selecting a great option among the bunch will rely on the duration of your stay, whether there is a lack of your capabilities in New Zealand or if you have managed to arrange a profession in the area. If you are going to visit the country for a holiday, you might require a visitor visa first.

  1. Visitor Visa

This option applies to individuals who do not come from a visa-waiver country. You do not need it if you are:

  • A citizen of the country or a Resident Permit bearer
  • Traveling using an Australian passport as an Australian citizen
  • An Australian native with the latest Australian resident return visa
  • If you happen to be a citizen of an area/country which has a visa-waiver settlement with NZ


  • Valid 3-month passport after your departure from the country
  • Return ticket to the country that you bear the consent to go into
  • Enough money to back yourself up over the course of your stay
  • 2-color passport pictures
  • Completed Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry (in case another individual has agreed to support you by financial means)
  • Completed visa application (INZ 1017)
  • Medical certificate (INZ 1007) if you need to be in the country in less than a year.
  • Chest X-ray certificate (INZ 1096) if you come from or spent more than three months in a country that is not on the record of countries with low tuberculosis rate.
  1. Student Visa

If you have plans to study in New Zealand whole-time for over 3 months you are required to take this option.

The requirements include:

  • A proposal to study from an educational establishment approved by the country’s Qualifications Authority
  • A guarantee on paper from an individual or an organization that appropriate accommodation is accessible to you in the country, if you are a minor.
  • Proof of adequate finances to support you while you’re studying
  • Return air ticket to your home country
  • Tuberculosis screening (if spending more than 6 months)
  • Police certificate (for individuals over 18 and is needed to stay in the country for more than two years)

A course that has a duration of 3 months only will require a visitor visa, not a student’s. Exchange students can submit an application for the tenure of their exchange so long as they have met all health and character conditions and are authentic exchange partakers. If in case you are planning on a working holiday trip, you can undergo more courses provided the courses’ entire duration will not go beyond 6 months.

  1. Working Visa

If you want a resident or momentary work visa, this will require a job or a job proposal in New Zealand. If in case you possess professional capabilities or perform in an area where there is a shortage of skills and you possess the experiences and educations equivalent to what the country’s employers are familiar with, you will discover that there are career breaks that are accessible for you here.

Work Opportunities After Study

If you have an extended plan to develop a career and become a resident of New Zealand, you must first know about the conditions needed to work in the country after the study. There are two options available:

  • Post Study Work Visa (Open)

The open Post Study Work Visa lets individuals find work that is applicable to their skill levels. It is authorized for 12 months and for the duration of this time you can acquire jobs for nearly any company in the country.

However you can only submit an application for this option just once provided you accomplished an additional higher qualification like a NZ bachelor’s degree or any post-graduate studies in the country. You are prohibited to carry out sexual services or participate in a business that offers such a service. You are also prohibited to take in a spouse or dependent offspring in your application but they can submit an application founded on their association to you.

  • Post Study Work Visa (Employer-Assisted)

If you managed to get a job, you are now eligible to apply for an employer-assisted Post Study Work Visa. This permits you to provide your services to a particular employer or company for an additional 2 years. To be eligible for this, your work should be appropriate to your application and you should have maintained an open Post Study Work Visa.

This option requires that you have a proposal or work full-time in the equivalent area as your abilities. Once you are permitted to have this option, you may later submit an application for residence for the country’s Skilled Migrant division.

  • Skilled Migrant Category

If you possess the experiences and capabilities that New Zealand requires, you might be eligible to submit an application for this option.

This category is a points system founded on aspects ranging from age, qualifications, a proposal of accomplished service and work experience. The maximum age limit for this is 55 years and you should also meet the category’s required health, character and English language fluency stipulations.

There are 2 stages one needs to complete in order to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category.

  1. Phase 1 – You must first carry out an EOI or Expression of Interest and in this EOI you can receive points for your skills, credentials, work experience and vice versa. The points you gather will help you in verifying whether you need to submit your EOI for a selection procedure. There is no certification required for this phase.
  2. Phase 2 – If your EOI is picked during the selection process, immigration will determine whether they will request an application from you for residence in the country founded on the points that you have gathered.

The confirmation procedure for this takes 8 to 12 weeks and this might differ from one division to another. The ITA or Invitation to Apply will include a guide and documentation that will require to be presented to the closest branch. As soon as the residence application with the records are presented, the immigration officer assigned will evaluate and settle whether residence will be allowed to the applicant.

If additional information is needed, immigration will contact the applicant. Residence processing usually takes 6 to 9 months and this can differ from one division to another.

  • Residence from Work Category

As soon as you have been in the country long enough, 2 years to be exact on a Work to Residence visa, you might be qualified for residence position under New Zealand’s Residence from Work category.

You can move your provisional work visa up to a residence option and as a resident you are more eligible to hang around in the country until further notice.

The following are the requirements for this option:

  • Been in New Zealand on a Word to Residence visa for 2 years
  • Have underwent character and health stipulations
  • Have offered documentation that you are fluent the English language or have an IELTS Level 5 certificate

If you were allowed to possess a temporary work visa to work for a sanctioned company or employer in the country, you can submit an application for residence-class visa for NZ’s Residence from Work (Accredited Employers) Category.

These are the requirements for this option:

  • Have maintained a Work to Residence: Accredited Employer work visa for around 24 months
  • Have worked full-time during that period by a sanctioned company/employer
  • Are currently working and have an average pay of around NZ $55,000 a year
  • Maintain full-time or temporary registration to provide service in the country if appropriate

Long-Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa

This option provides you the chance to become a resident of New Zealand. To submit an application for this option, you are required to present the needed qualifications, work registration and experience to provide your services on the country’s Long-Term Skill Shortage List. If you persist in working in that profession in the country for 2 years you can submit an application for residence.

These are the requirements for this option:

  • Have maintained a work visa that was provided under the country’s Work to Residence: Long-Term Skill Shortage category for a maximum of 24 months
  • Been in a job full-time during that timeframe in a profession included on the Long-Term Skill Shortage List.
  • Is currently in a job and have an average salary of at least NZ $45,000 a year
  • Has an age of 55 years or younger
  • Maintain full or temporary registration to provide service in the country if appropriate
  1. Working Holiday Visa

New Zealand features working holiday system settlements with a lot of countries. There are hundreds of individuals who apply for a working holiday visa in the country to extend their stay and at the same time, provide them some financial support.

Requirements for this option are usually offered to individuals from ages 18-30 (18-35 in a few countries). This option lets you take trips and get employment in the country for up to 12 months (23 months maximum if you come from the United Kingdom). You should possess a return ticket to your country, are coming to New Zealand chiefly for a holiday with employment being the resulting purpose.

  1. Investor Visa

New Zealand also has available Investor visa options for businemen/investors who want to achieve residence in the country.

If for example you are planning on capitalizing on a minimum of NZ $1.5 million during a 4-year period, you can go for the Investor 2 Category option. If you plan on investing around NZ $10 million or more, the Investor Plus Visa from the Investor 1 Category is recommended.

Appropriate Investments

The businesses you are planning to invest on should meet the appropriate investment conditions. Speaking in broad terms, the appropriate investment can be the following:

  • Bonds that are given by the country’s government, resident authorities or sanctioned banks and finance firms
  • Public or private equity in the country’s companies
  • Current residential property development that is not meant for the investor’s special use.

In order to be taken in as an appropriate investment it should:

  • Make a commercial return under standard conditions
  • Bear the capacity to be a factor in the country’s economy
  • Should not be used for the investor’s gains
  1. Entrepreneur Visa

If you are a practiced businessman or businesswoman who is concerned with self-employment, you can go for the Entrepreneur visa.

This option permits you to move to the country and purchase or begin a business. Following 6 months to 2 years to the business you can submit an application for a visa under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.

For the 3-year work visa, it is composed of 2 phases:

  • Start-up – Once the application is approved, the individual will be provided a 12-month work visa which facilitates the purchase or establishment of a business in the country
  • Balance – As soon as you have verified that you have proceeded to start your business venture, you will be given visa’s remaining 12 months.

Requirements for the visa are the following:

  • The lowest possible capital investment of NZ $100,000 which leaves out working capital
  • 120 points or above said points, with those points presented for aspects regarding the probable success of the venture and its worth to the country
  • Faultless business planning
  • Spotless business history free from fraud, failures and bankruptcy
  • Have met character, health and English language requirements

Residence Visa for Entrepreneurs

The Entrepreneur Residence Category lets businesspersons live in New Zealand on a permanent basis if they have set up excellent growth and ground-breaking business with export possibilities.

To qualify, here are two ways to qualify:

  • Entrepreneur Residence Category (6 months)

This particular option offers a faster means to residential status if you have at least invested NZ $500,000 in your venture and have produced at least 3 full-time work for the country’s residents.

  • Entrepreneur Residence Category (2 years)

This options needs you to have accomplished or bought a venture in the country and have been a self-starter in the business for at least 2 years. Furthermore, that the business was advantageous to the country.

  1. Visas Available for Partners and Children

New Zealand provides a selection of options for the individual’s partners and children.

If in case you are applying for a visa that is established on your association with each other, you and your partner or spouse should answer to specific requirements:

  • The partnership between you and your partner must be stable and authentic
  • You should be living with your partner or spouse
  • You should be supported by your partner
  • The partner should be qualified to back your application
  • You should pass the character and health requirements

If you come from Australia and resident in that country, you are also capable of sponsoring your partner’s application. But you are required to verify that the country is your chief area of residence prior to supporting the application. You must also take in each and every option for coming to the country as several are qualified for more facilities than other individuals.

  • Temporary visa

One can submit an application for provisional work or visitor visa to be together with their partner in the country if both have passed the requirements. If in case your submitted application relies on your partner or spouse’s temporary visa, it will be only considered valid for the similar timeframe as their visas.

  • Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa

If in case your partner is a citizen of New Zealand or a resident there, you can submit an application for visitor or work visa between a 12 to 24-month timeframe. You can work in the country or study for up to 3 months. You cannot take in dependent children in your application but they can submit for visas dependent on their association to you.

Dependent Children

If in case the children are dependent financially, single and of proper age, they can be taken in on their parent’s application. They can also submit an application founded on their association to their parent; if the parent is a New Zealand citizen, has applied or is submitting an application.

Dependent children might be taken in on your application of submit an application founded on their association or relationship to you as parent or lawful guardian. The rules for dependent children vary in terms of the kind of visa they are applying for, whether it is a temporary visa, a visitor, student or resident visa. Furthermore, dependent children are not qualified for a working visa.

There are many types of visas available to those traveling to New Zealand. The question now is – which one best suits your purpose of travel? It’s important to apply for the right visa for fast approval. With all your legal travel documents all ready, hop on to the plane and experience the splendor that is New Zealand!

Visit the New Zealand immigration web sites below for up to date information on NZ entry requirements.


  • Mats says on

    my holiday in New Zealand was outstanding and I must say I’m glad that Belgians don’t need a Visa to travel to NZ 🙂

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