FAQ

Are your immigration advisers licensed?

Yes, all the immigration advisers at NZ immigration Advisers are fully licensed. They also have considerable experience.

Who makes the decision on my visa application?

The immigration system in New Zealand is run my Immigration New Zealand. Officials from that organisation will make the decision on your visa application.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand for a short period of time?

Short-term visas apply if you are coming to New Zealand as a tourist or if you are coming to visit family members of friends. They also apply if you are coming on a short working holiday or you are travelling to New Zealand on business.

What are my options if I want to come to New Zealand to study?

There are a number of visa options open to you if you plan to come to New Zealand to study, providing you meet the requirements. This means there are visa options available whatever type of school you plan to go to including primary school, secondary school, university, or a polytechnic. You may also be able to get a visa if you plan to come to learn English.

I want to work in New Zealand. What do I need to know?

You will need a visa if you plan to work in New Zealand either on a temporary or permanent basis. This includes visas if you are coming here for a working holiday but it also includes skilled work or working after you study. Other options include starting a business or buying a business. You can also apply for a visa if your partner is working in New Zealand. There are particular requirements for each specific type of visa so it is important you check those requirements and seek professional advice before you apply.

Do I have to be registered in my occupation?

You do have to be registered with the appropriate professional body if you have one of the following occupations:

  • Construction industry/housing – architect, electrician, plumber, gasfitter, drainlayer, land title surveyor, and real estate agent
  • Law – barrister or solicitor
  • Health – chiropractor, clinical dental therapist, dental technician, dentist, dispensing optician, clinical dental technician, dental hygienist, dental therapist, dietitian, enrolled nurse, medical practitioner, nurses, midwife, optometrist, pharmacist, medical radiation technologist, occupational therapist, osteopath, physiotherapist, podiatrist, and psychologist
  • Engineering/manufacturing – electrical service technician or line mechanic
  • Science – medical laboratory scientist, medical laboratory technologist, and medical laboratory technician
  • Other – teacher or veterinarian

How can I live in New Zealand permanently?

There are a number of visa options you have available if you want to live permanently in New Zealand. This includes if you are a skilled worker, you are investing in New Zealand, you are starting a business here, or you are buying a business. You may also be able to apply to live in New Zealand permanently if you are joining a family member or a partner.

What are Essential Skills in Demand Lists?

The Government in New Zealand has three categories of skills that it regards as being in short supply. These are the skills the Government wants people to come to the country to fulfill. The three Essential Skills in Demand Lists are:

  • Long Term Skill Shortage List – if you meet these requirements you may be eligible for residency through the Work to Residence policy or as a skilled migrant.
  • Immediate Skill Shortage List – this is used for temporary skill shortages and there is no direct link to residence.
  • Canterbury Skill Shortage List – these are skills that are needed to help rebuild the Canterbury region of New Zealand following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.
Do I need to prove I know English?

Yes, you will have to go through an International Language Testing System test. You can take an academic or general test although if you are coming here for a particular occupation you will probably have to do the academic test. International Language Testing System test centers are available in most countries (the major exception to this is the US).

I have an existing medical condition. Will that affect my application for a work visa or residency?

A medical examination is required as part of your application for a work visa or for residency. If you have a medical condition this will be referred to an Immigration New Zealand consultant physician. They will then determine the likely impact of your health condition on the New Zealand health service. Examples could be if you will require hospitalization, expensive medications, disability services, or residential care.

What is a NZQA assessment?

NZQA stands for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. It is not part of Immigration New Zealand but it does have a role – to independently evaluate overseas qualifications. This process can take up to 12 weeks.

What is an immigration assessment?

If you want to know if you are eligible to live and/or work in New Zealand the best place to start is by getting an immigration assessment. An assessment will tell you the options you have available and the likelihood of success. This will help you make a more informed decision on how to proceed.

Who completes my immigration assessment?

Once your eligibility questionnaire is filled in and sent it will be reviewed and completed by one of our immigration advisers. They are all licensed and have extensive experience of the immigration and visa application process.

What will an immigration assessment tell me?

An immigration assessment will give you a better understanding of the options available to you. You will also have a clearer indication of your chances for success, what you can do to improve your chances of success, and things that could complicate your application.

How do I complete the immigration assessment?

The eligibility questionnaire will take about 20 minutes to complete. Here are some tips:

  • Answer every question – give your best answer to every question. Leaving one out can delay the assessment and/or limit the advice we can give.
  • Answer honestly – please answer each question as honestly as possible. It is better that potential issues are identified at the assessment stage rather than when making a formal visa application. All information you give us is kept strictly confidential.

  • Think about what you want to do when you come to New Zealand – for example, do you want to visit for a short period or do you want to work, study, or live here permanently.

  • Complete your payment – make sure you process the payment.

How long does it take to process a visa application?

Once you make an application, Immigration New Zealand should respond within 14 days. This response will be to either give you a decision or to tell you how long you will have to wait. The time this takes varies depending on the type of visa you apply for, the level of detail in your application, how easy it is for immigration officials to check the information in your application, and how quickly you respond to queries.

Can I come to New Zealand if my partner is already there?

You may be eligible for a visa if your partner is already in New Zealand if you meet the criteria. This means you and your partner must be in a stable and genuine relationship. You and your partner must also be over 18 (if you or your partner is 16 or 17 years of age you must have the consent of your parents or guardians) and you cannot be close relatives.

Who can sponsor me?

You can be sponsored by a citizen of New Zealand, a resident, or an organisation. Examples of organisations include companies, charities, government agencies, and incorporated societies. There are other criteria, however. For example, if you are being sponsored by an individual, that person cannot be bankrupt and they can’t sponsor you in return for a fee. A professional immigration adviser can give you advice on whether your sponsor will be eligible. You should also note that having a sponsor does not guarantee you will get a visa as you still must meet all the other requirements.

What is the difference between a visa and a permit?

Visas are issued when you are outside New Zealand. Permits are granted when you arrive here, based on the visa you hold. For example, if you want to come to New Zealand for a couple of months as a tourist, you would get a Visitor’s Visa while you are still in your own country. When you get to New Zealand, you will be issued with a Visitor’s Permit based on that visa.

I have been granted residency in New Zealand. How quickly must I move?

In theory, you could delay a final arrival to New Zealand to take up your permanent residency for up to three years, but it is important you understand the process. The following provides an overview but you should take professional advice.

Part of gaining residency status involves getting an approval in principle. This will include requirements you must fulfill as well as requirements anyone else included on your application must fulfill. You will normally have to be in New Zealand to fulfill those requirements, although that could be on a short-term visit rather than a final move.

You have six months and others on your application have 12 months to fulfill the approval in principle requirements. Once that is done you can get a Returning Resident’s Visa which lasts for two years. You will need to move to New Zealand permanently within that time.

I have been granted permanent residence, but a person on my application cannot arrive in New Zealand within the required timeframe. What happens in this situation?

If a person on your application cannot come to New Zealand within 12 months of you being issued an approval in principle they will no longer be able to become a permanent resident. They don’t have to come for long – just long enough to meet the requirements of the approval in principle – but they do have to come. If they lose the permanent resident status they must make a new application.

What is a Returning Resident's Visa and how does it work?

A Returning Resident’s Visa allows you to leave New Zealand and then return as a permanent resident. In other words, you won’t have to re-apply to the immigration authorities. There are restrictions to Returning Resident’s Visas, however. The main one is that it is only valid for two years.